Ad Highlights City Audit Finding Verizon is Failing to Meet Terms of Its Franchise Agreement, Refusing to Build High-Speed Internet
Pressure Grows on Verizon to Stop Stalling as City Council Hearing Scheduled for Wednesday
New York – The Communications Workers of America (CWA) announced today a new TV ad that will air on local broadcast and cable channels slamming Verizon’s failure to build out its high-speed FiOS network in New York. The 30-second ad highlights a New York City audit of Verizon’s FiOS rollout in New York City that found that Verizon has failed to meet its promise to deliver high-speed fiber optic internet and television to everyone in the city who wanted it [script below and video file can be viewed here]. In a sign of growing concerns about Verizon, the City Council is holding a hearing Wednesday to hear from the Administration, customers who have been unable to get FiOS and the company.
“Verizon should stop breaking promises to its employees and its customers,” said Bob Master, Assistant to the President for CWA District One. “Customers want FiOS and our members want a contract that maintains family-supporting jobs. Verizon should stop stalling on both issues.”
New York City is not the only city frustrated with Verizon’s broken promises. Last week, 13 Northeastern Mayors and the Democratic candidate for Mayor of Philadelphia sent a letter to Verizon expressing anger at Verizon’s refusal to build its high-speed FiOS network at all in some cities while in others the company fails to meet contractual and legal requirements to complete universal build-outs. The Mayors also expressed concern about Verizon’s treatment of its workforce in ongoing contract negotiations.
The anger has been growing across the East Coast as Verizon systematically refuses to invest in its infrastructure. In a letter to the FCC it admitted that it had only spent $200 million or $3.50 per customer over the last seven years to maintain its copper landline network in eleven states and the District of Columbia. The Communications Workers of America filed letters in six states and Washington, DC calling on them to investigate whether Verizon was neglecting its responsibility.
In August, it was the only major U.S. telecommunications company to turn down federal funding to build broadband in unserved, primarily rural, communities, leaving many residents in eight states and the District of Columbia without access to vital communications options. The company was offered $568 million over six years by the Federal government to bring broadband to 270,000 locations in Washington, DC, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
In New York State, the company refuses to avail itself of Governor Cuomo’s $500 million New New York Broadband Fund, which offers up to 50% subsidies to companies willing to build high-speed service in underserved areas. For years, Verizon has steadfastly refused to bring its high-speed internet service (or FiOS) to areas like Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, Rome, Utica and numerous other upstate New York cities, as well as much of Eastern Suffolk. At a series of hearings held by New York State, elected officials from Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, the North Country, the Southern Tier and the Hudson Valley decried the lack of FiOS in their communities.
Campaigns in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts have also called for FiOS to be built in their communities.
Featured image is screen shot from CWA’s ad