Verizon Will Fix Broadband Networks, Landlines to Resolve Investigation

Verizon Will Fix Broadband Networks, Landlines to Resolve Investigation

Verizon has reached an agreement with the Communications Workers of America and the New York State Public Service Commission to begin repairing infrastructure and restoring service across New York State. The agreement requires Verizon to extend broadband service to tens of thousands of New York State households and to begin repairing facilities it has previously neglected.

As in Pennsylvania, Verizon has been neglecting its fixed wired infrastructure in its bid to first sabotage copper service, then force customers to adopt alternative solutions. It’s also been mired in an ongoing lawsuit with the state of New York over its breach of a 2008 contract requiring it to provide fiber service within New York City.

This new agreement appears to settle these issues, provided it’s followed. Under its terms, Verizon will extend fiber to 10,000 to 12,000 households not currently served by it in Long Island and Verizon’s “Upstate Reporting Region” (these are Verizon-specific regions, not geographical areas, so “Long Island” may mean more than just the island). It will begin immediately replacing copper lines in certain specific NYC buildings with high failure rates and transitioning them to fiber optic cable, repairing operations within 50 upstate wireless centers with high failure rates, allow plant technicians to report plant failures and maintenance needs more accurately, and begin inspecting and replacing the batteries that provide critical connectivity in the event of a power outage when said batteries are deployed for specific customers (hospitals, police stations, and other emergency facilities). It will also begin removing so-called “double poles.” A double pole is when an old telephone pole is stapled (metaphorically speaking) to a newer one. Some examples of a double pole from PA are shown below; Verizon has been hauled into court to force it to do its job in more than one state.

Verizon Will Fix Broadband Networks, Landlines to Resolve Investigation

Some of the buildouts are contingent on Verizon being granted broadband contracts for which it has already applied. But Verizon expects to reach, on average, about 20,500 more households than it does at present. The repair orders to replace copper with fiber impact roughly 100 installations. The company will replace 64,000 (!) double pole conditions, constituting a substantial amount of overall repair.

Hopefully this resolution puts an end to these shenanigans for at least a little while. Verizon’s overall behavior towards line maintenance and upkeep in rural areas created problems for people after storms and outages, where repairs could take weeks and people were left without service in the interim. Fixing these line and pole issues, and extending coverage to people who should already have had it, should help everyone.

Continue reading

Trump’s Executive Orders Boosting Rural Broadband Won’t Stop FCC Sabotage

President Trump has issued a pair of executive orders aimed at helping rural Americans receive broadband service, but his instructions will only apply to a relatively small number of people and could make the actual problem worse.

FCC Backpedals, Won’t Cripple US Broadband Standard

Ajit Pai has released an updated draft report ahead of the FCC's February meeting, indicating the government body won't try to redefine mobile and fixed broadband as essentially equivalent.

SpaceX Launches First Satellites to Extend Broadband Coverage

SpaceX has launched the first two prototypes for the global communication satellite service it wants to develop. The company expects to put over 10,000 satellites in orbit.

T-Mobile Announces LTE Home Broadband, Promises 5G After Sprint Merger

T-Mobile has been selling mobile broadband for years like all the other carriers, but it's decided to branch out into home internet.