Verizon has responded to a report by New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications claiming the carrier did not follow through on its promise to provide its FiOS service to all five NYC boroughs.
The dispute is over a 2008 agreement that Verizon signed with then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg in which Verizon said it would outfit the big apple with the bundled Internet, phone and TV package by June of 2014.
Verizon left a loophole in the fine print of the deal that said it could “pass” many homes instead of actually serving them.
The audit found Verizon was “not in compliance with its agreement since it has not truly ‘passed’ all residential households in New York City.” The report goes on to explain, “Verizon’s working definition of ‘passing’ a household with fiber optic cable is inconsistent with industry practice and is inconsistent with Section 5.4 of the franchise agreement.”
In an e-mail response to RCR Wireless News, a Verizon representative responded to the accusations saying, “First and foremost, it is important to note that it’s not a mere coincidence that the report is made public today, and labor negotiations with our largest union begin on Monday,” the statement said. “It’s well known the union has ties to the city administration, and things like this are a familiar union tactic we have seen before.”
The statement goes on to refute many claims of the report: “We disagree with many parts of the report. The review was based on erroneous factual conclusions and incorrect interpretations of the Agreement, particular its conclusions on Verizon’s passing all of the households in the City with fiber-optic facilities.”
Verizon said it has indeed fulfilled its end of the agreement: “Our $3.5 billion investment and the 15,000 miles of fiber we have built have given New Yorkers added choices and a robust set of advanced, reliable and resilient services.”
Verizon has said for quite some time that landlords have been the major obstacle preventing the completion of the project. They continue to stand behind that claim: “The challenge we have is gaining access to properties which of course would expand availability. We look forward to working with the City to seek solutions to this issue.”
The report said that Verizon was repeatedly uncooperative with the audit and it has not properly communicated with its customers. “Verizon’s complaint process focuses only on paying subscribers, and Verizon generally does not accept complaints or inquiries from prospective customers,” one finding of the report said.
Another claims: “Anecdotal evidence shows that Verizon, in some instances, does not provide timely service unless the management company enters into a bulk agreement for the building”
According to the audit, “there are more than 40,000 requests for service pending, about 75% of which have remained outstanding for 12 months or longer.”
As of now, it is estimated that somewhere between 45% and 60% of NYC is wired with the FiOS service.