Verizon NY Capex, 2007-2022

What Happened to the Verizon NY Fiber Annual Budgets from 2007-2023.

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In our previous  article, “Dark Fiber in America? What happened to the 48 million kilometers that was installed but not in use as of 2007?”, we laid out, state by state, the fiber optic networks that had been put into America’s state telecom utilities, as documented by the FCC. At the end of 2007,
§      America’s state telecom utilities had over 73.4 million KM of fiber optic wires that had been laid throughout America,
§      A whopping 48 million KM, 66%, was “DARK”, meaning it was installed but not in use. (1 Kilometer is 62% of 1 mile.)

Some have questioned the logic of quoting data that is 15 years old as relevant–what is most relevant is that there has been a rewriting of history and what we call “institutional amnesia”.

Well, first, there is money–billions of dollars on the table. Billions of dollars in installed but unused fiber? Billions of dollars of utility construction budgets that were diverted to wireless? Ratepayers have been and continue to be overcharged billions for fiber networks they never received?

In an accompanying post (part of an upcoming article) we highlight the specific construction expenditures of a collection of state telecommunications public utilities, that are controlled by the 3 holding companies, AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink (Lumen) from 2007, the FCC’s last published data.

Nationwide, the FCC report showed approximately $19 billion had been spent in 2007 on construction expenses (known as Plant Specific), (based on an average of 2006 and 2007)

The relevance is simple — All of these state telecommunications public utilities have an annual construction budget, and no utility has stopped or dramatically cut this money. Moreover, all of these companies are using the same Uniform System of Accounts, so the range of what one utility will pay for this expense item, are very similar, because they are based on the same formulas to calculate how expenses are allocated.

Our Model: Actual Data
Verizon NY’s annual reports gives us a continuous record since 2007. and there has been continuous Capital Expenditure (Capex) budgets for the upgrade of the telecom networks to fiber optics for decades.

The chart below details one telecommunications public utility’s construction budget from 2008 through 2022, This information comes directly from the Verizon NY published annual reports, the last being published in May 26, 2023.

===From 2008-2022, the average capex expense was over $1.24 billion of annual network construction expenses.
===Over this 15 year period, and using the actual data from the financial reports, this comes to over $18.6 billion for construction in just Verizon NY.
==We included the average as a line, against the actual construction expenditures and the amount rarely varied over this time-frame.

The Conclusion: The Free French telecom fiber optic triple play has “no gimmicks” vs America getting screwed.

To round out the last story we wrote about the pricing overseas, and specifically based on communications bills we received from a senior American couple living in France. –They are paying 29.99 Euros for a triple play (cable TV, phone, and Broadband Internet) at a speed of 5GPBS over a fiber optic to the home connection. After a year it goes to 39.99 Euros… about $44 dollars. And we compared that bill to a .the current Spectrum-Charter New York City. — and the current December 2023 bill is for $225 with no frills, movies; just basic service.

The difference is $181 extra a month– and this chart, which we’ll go into detail next year, is based on a second letter which confirmed that ‘there are “no gimmicks” overseas — the advertised price is all inclusive and even includes the VAT tax — No equipment fees, no made up and ridiculous additions, and there is no way anyone can figure out how the taxes are applied.

The Telco and cable apologists who don’t want rate regulation, or complain about the ACP Low income subsidy should be required to explain what they are going to do to get these crap charges off the bill, and start auditing the financials for all of the cross-subsidies, made up fees, but st the core — Why are our basic bills 5-10 times more than overseas?

hashtagOvercharges hashtagMadeupFees, hashtagACP hashtagDIGITAL DIVIDE hashtagfiberoptic hashtagFCC hashtagFTC hashtagRepublican hashtagSpectrum hashtagCharter hashtag5yearplan hashtag5G

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TELECOM ANALYSTS, AUDITORS AND LAWYERS FROM THE IRREGULATORS, USE CUTTING EDGE AI TOOLS TO DEFEND THE PUBLIC INTEREST

IMMEDIATE RELEASE;

TELECOM ANALYSTS, AUDITORS AND LAWYERS FROM THE IRREGULATORS, USE CUTTING EDGE AI TOOLS TO DEFEND THE PUBLIC INTEREST

How many Material Facts are Missing from the Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania 5- year Broadband Plan?

IRREGULATORS 5 YEAR BROADBAND PLAN COMMENTS; AI-COMPARE

FREE BOOK DOWNLOAD: DISS-CONNECTED was written to explain to even Aunt Ethel about how the companies have not been held accountable and created the Digital Divide.

MA Plan DOES NOT MENTION VERIZON; The NJ plan once.

How many times is Verizon MA mentioned?

AI-IRREG: I have searched the document and found that Verizon Massachusetts is not mentioned in the Massachusetts Broadband BEAD Initial Proposal Volume I & II.

How many times is Verizon MJ mentioned?

AI-IRREG: Verizon New Jersey is mentioned once in the provided document in this PDF file,

Our Conclusion — Our filings based on 30 years of research and active role in fiber optic broadband deployment and the creation of the Digital Divide and filings detail how All of these states broadband offices have created 5 Year Plan that are supposed to solve the Digital Divide but left out basic, material facts, creating distorted and even harmful public policies.

AI-IRREGULATORS AI program. These Comments were created using the state plan and the IRREGULATORS research. we specifically took the first comments submitted and summarized, then compared with the State plan,  exclusively using cutting edge AI tools by the AI-IRREGULATORS  program.

Bsckground

During the pandemic, America woke up and realized America had a dirt road instead of a fiber optic future –and the harms were in the more rural and low income areas.  So instead of investigating the basic facts– they decided to give out over 42 billion in state hbroadband grants — and each state prepared the initial proposal to get the state fundings

There is now a form of ‘institutional amnesia’, America was supposed to have a fiber optic future, and in each of these states, we’ve been filing comments, complaints and even help bring fiber optic networks to towns in new jersey and New york.

4 State Model: MA, NY, NJ and PA

Over the last 2 months, the IRREGULATORS have filed comments in 4 states covering a large swarth of the East Coast from Masschusetts and New York, to New Jersry and Pennsylvania,  all controlled by Verizon as the largest state-based telecommunications public utilities, — as well as Michigan and California (for broadband issues,  (or our work was submitted in other states, such as Maryland.

Thirty years of tracking the fiber optic deployments and the financial cross-subsidies of wireless.  In each state we have filed comments, complaints since 2000 and have helped some cities and towns get upgraded to fiber optic networks (See details for each state.)

Who we Are:  An independent, consortium of senior telecom experts, analysts, forensic auditors, and lawyers who are former senior staffers from the FCC, state advocate and Attorneys General Office experts and lawyers, as well as former telco consultants.

IRREGULATORS 5 YEAR BROADBAND PLAN COMMENTS; AI-COMPARE

FREE BOOK DOWNLOAD: DISS-CONNECTED was written to explain to even Aunt Ethel about how the companies have not been held accountable and created the Digital Divide.

America’s Communications Prices are Buckets of Overcharging that Need to be Halted.

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Let’s start with just one major rip off– Made up, added fees are for more profits to the companies. And they need to be removed. Period.

The NYC Spectrum-Charter Triple Play is about $225.00 a month, and this is a basic plan; no movies or DVR, etc. It has a Broadcast & Sports fee, a made up, additional charge of now $27.90, a separate line item on every cable bill. Is this bogus, ‘junk fee’, ‘just and reasonably’ priced? Not.

The fee is NOT mandated by the government. Regardless of the hype, this is direct revenues to the cable and phone companies –with no audits, no investigations, and no serious government oversight.
There is a hidden secret: Considered ‘revenue’ to the companies, it is hit with quadruple taxes and surcharges — i.e. a series of taxes are on this  made up fee. Worse, other junk fees are applied, which are then taxed again.
This adds about 20% more or an additional $5.50, estimated– $33.50 total.

While it varies by company and state, America cable customers are being charged over $350 a year for this one bogus charge; And this comes to over $2 billion a month, almost $20-30 billion extra — for this one made up fee. (each state and cable and telephone company has similar prices for this fee. )

Worse, as the chart shows, it has continually gone up over 1140% since it first showed up at $2.25 a month in 2014.

Let’s be very clear.
=These charges are the price of doing business, and the cable companies’ expense; it is not an extra charge.
=There are no audits to prove that this fee is valid, regardless of the made up fiction that the companies tell us.
=Not part of the advertised price.
=There is nothing on the websites that supply the basic calculations of how the taxes, fees and surcharges are being applied.

The final kicker -Over 20 million low income households are now receiving ACP vouchers of up to $30 to fund their broadband-internet as it is clear that prices are not ‘affordable’. However, the customer still has to pay the difference — against a retail rate that can include garbage fees, like cost recovery.

Wait– This one junk charge is over $30 counting the taxes –and the triple play includes broadband and internet and voice and households take it to get the bundled prices.

What- Aren’t the cable companies some of the largest recipients of this ACP money and the new $40 billion BEAD gov subsidies… and

Part 2: Overseas Letter Reveals How America is being Gouged on Broadband.
Next up. A letter from a senior couple in France, shows they are paying 29.99 Euros (1 Euro is currently $1.09 Dollars) for a fiber optic 5 Gig speed service, which comes with two 5G unlimited services at 9.99 Euros each. And there are NO ADDED FEES, and these are truly ‘unlimited’; Not the American-definition– “We were just kidding.”

This is part of our filing with the FTC, who has put forward rules to remove hidden fees,

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AT&T CA: REQUIRES INVESTIGATION OF BASIC MATERIAL FACTS–How Many Lines?

RE: AT&T has filed a request with the California Public Utilities Commission  (CPUC) to remove their “carrier of last resort” obligations, (COLR). AT&T California is the largest California telecommunications public utility, and it wants to no longer have obligations to provide service over the existing copper wires, especially in rural areas.

Audit, Investigate and Halt AT&T California’s Unlawful, Multiple Billion Dollar Cross-Subsidies, Deceptive Accounting of Access Lines, and the Manipulation of Basic Material Facts.

Second, All 5 Year Plans being presented in the state of California, and throughout the AT&T territories, should be questioned as they have failed to include material facts about the incumbent state-based telecommunications public utility, like AT&T-CA.

Deny the request; the accounting has been manipulated to hide millions of lines.

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‘Common wisdom’ in America claims there are very few still using wired phone services, much less the legacy copper-wire-based utility services. Moreover, AT&T claims that there is not only competition but superior wireless services with lower prices, even in rural areas.

In reality, according to the FCC, in 2023, there were almost 100 million phone lines used for voice service in America and almost 30 million are copper-based POTS, ‘plain old telephone service’ lines.

But the accounting we present shows that this is a fraction of the total copper-based access lines in America. The chart above shows that AT&T manipulated the accounting of the copper access lines in the states, including California, and the other AT&T utility territories, to leave out critical material facts. In fact, the majority of copper lines that are used to deliver data services, special access, DSL, U-Verse (which relies on the existing copper to the home), and even VOIP, are hidden from the public, thus corrupting public policies in the state.

CA Fiber Failure History: In 1993, Pacific Bell announced it would be spending $16 billion to upgrade 5.5 million households with fiber optics by 2000, replacing the existing copper utility networks. Never happened. In 2006, Pac Bell, now AT&T-CA, claimed it would roll out fiber with U-Verse, but it’s copper to the home, not fiber. By 2011, AT&T announced it was moving toward wireless for all rural areas, and never upgraded the state, but got rate increases and tax perks and used the utility as a cash machine, even in 2023.

IRREGULATORS Position: Instead of discussions about ‘shutting off the copper’ wires, the real story requires immediate investigation, including audits so that the state can halt AT&T’s unlawful, multiple cross-subsidies, especially going to the wireless and other subsidiaries, and remove the quagmire of misleading, or simply untrue facts.

Time to Get Serious: We are requesting the CPUC to start a proceeding immediately to remove AT&T’s franchise for a telecommunication utility in California as they claim there is no telecommunication utility. Moreover, they have irresponsibly created the Digital Divide, by leaving most of their service territory with inferior, mostly copper-based networks, not fiber. AT&T should be held accountable and pay massive penalties for their unlawful cross-subsidies identified by the IRREGULATORs and other parties.

  • Halt all current cross-subsidies and utility perks that have been abused or used by AT&T subsidiaries for unlawful competitive advantages and harms.
  • AT&T has been using the utility as a cash machine to build its other lines of business— thus violating all separations requirements of the subsidiaries.
  • AT&T has let the entire state telecom utility deteriorate, diverting billions of the utility construction budgets to the other lines of business, especially wireless– instead of upgrading the state to fiber optics, as it was supposed to do.
  • Audit the books to find out how much money was already collected to do the upgrades– and is still being collected in 2023, and find out whether that money was unlawfully transferred to cross-subsidize the wireless and other lines of business.
  • Halt the AT&T overcharging and the continuous rate increases, known as ‘harvesting’. The average wireline customer was overcharged at least $3,500 for a fiber optic wire to replace their existing copper wire — which they never got.
  • Did AT&T unlawfully charge local telephone customers for the construction of fiber optic data lines or ‘special access’ lines, sometimes called “backhaul’ to be used by its wireless services, rather than POTS?
  • How much money has been transferred to wireless? How many fiber optic wires ended up being used for wireless instead of for wireline broadband to homes?
  • How many actual copper-based lines are in service, regardless of the tech in use?
  • Does AT&T’s actions to manipulate the accounting of access lines, leaving out the majority of copper-based services, such as U-Verse, DSL, or even special access and data lines—violate the requirement to provide accurate information to a regulatory agency from which it is requesting an action?
  • How many millions of miles of fiber optic wires were installed, but are “Dark”, not in use? Do they go through unserved and underserved areas?

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  • Ignorance and Institutional Amnesia — Not one State Broadband Office (SBO) or the NTIA, or the FCC,  even mention that there are still state telecommunications public utilities that have extensive networks paid for by the public.
  • How can you create a 5 year plan that does not even mention AT&T California?
  • Question: Previous commitments? AT&T had 30 years to complete network upgrades to fiber and any map of AT&T territories shows it has the massive “unserved” and “underserved” areas. What happened to all the money?
  • We request a full investigation to locate all Dark Fiber; the last available FCC data shows millions of miles that were never put into use; cities, suburbs and other rural AT&T service territories should be investigated to see why these lines were not put into use.

In Sum: Not one cent should be given to the incumbent telecom utilities and cable companies until they remove all made up fees and make prices ‘just and reasonable’, and AT&T’s wireless and other subsidiaries should be paying market prices for the use of the networks. No provider that uses the networks to deliver services should be getting a free ride.

Let us be clear: Wireless is NOT a substitute nor a solution for what customers have been overcharged for. It has been a bait and switch and the state needs to immediately audit for the cross-subsidies and take appropriate actions to get refunds from AT&T that the state can then use as grants to complete the universal buildout to all homes, institutions and businesses.

Worse, while AT&T claims that its wireless services or IP services are ‘superior’ and that these are competitive alternatives, AT&T’s own terms and conditions for the various products claims that AT&T is not responsible, even if the 911 service doesn’t work, or the alarm or medical emergency system, and there are no guarantees that the networks are ‘secure’ or even ‘error free’.

At the core, AT&T et al have been able to rewrite the history, and all of the impacts caused in all of the AT&T states have been hidden from view.

The IRREGULATORS submit a full analysis, with a library of back up documentation. We have previously filed with the State’s CPUC, and the Broadband Council and it is clear that our independent analysis have been ignored, even with our expert telecom team, each with over 40 years of experience and a track record that predicted the Digital Divide, and warned of the failure to upgrade and maintain the state’s telecom infrastructure, multiple times.

We note that the track record of the federal and state regulators, including the FCC and CPUC, is to give these same companies that created the Digital Divide billions in state and federal grants so they can continue to maintain their monopoly control.

The IRREGULATORS is an independent, consortium of senior telecom experts, analysts, forensic auditors, and lawyers who are former senior officials from the FCC, state advocate and Attorneys General Office experts and lawyers, as well as former telco consultants.

Does AT&T Really Not Stand Behind Their IP and Wireless Services? Don’t Read the Fine Print.

Does AT&T Really Not Stand Behind Their IP and Wireless Services? Don’t Read the Fine Print.

AT&T has filed in CA to remove the “carrier of last resort” obligations required as the state telecom public utility to make sure that everyone in their franchise area can at least get basic voice phone service. At last count there were over 2 million ‘wireline’ ‘residential’, ‘voice’, ‘switch-access’ customers on the aging copper wires; (As we point out, there are most likely an additional 4-8 million more lines that are hidden.)
https://lnkd.in/eG-4hJrT

AT&T claims that they should be able to shut off these wires because; “Fixed and mobile broadband services are not only reasonable alternatives to POTS; they are in fact technologically superior and available at comparable or lower prices.”

Our position: AT&T failed to upgrade the state utilities it controls over the last 3 decades and the copper wires should have been replaced with ‘infrastructure’ – i.e., a fiber optic wire, because state laws were changed to charge customers for these upgrades.

Phone and broadband services are not supposed to be play-toys of the phone company but supply essential services, with a quality, secure connection. And these conditions violate basic customer protections standards in state laws.

https://lnkd.in/epBmQTZJ

1) No Guarantee with IP Voice Service.   “Since voice over IP is dependent on the IP network, the availability of an adequate power supply, and correct Equipment configuration, AT&T does not guarantee that AT&T U-verse Voice service will be continuous or error-free.
“You acknowledge and understand that AT&T cannot guarantee that voice over IP communication is completely secure.”

2) 911 Calls May be interrupted or not go through. “AT&T MAKES NO WARRANTY THAT AT&T U-VERSE VOICE SERVICE FOR ACCESS TO 911 WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE, OR ERROR-FREE…” (Their caps, not ours)

3) AT&T IP-no guarantee that your fire or burglar alarm, or medical monitoring device works. “YOU USE AT&T U-VERSE VOICE SERVICE AT YOUR OWN RISK AND WAIVE ANY CLAIM AGAINST AT&T FOR INTERFERENCE WITH OR DISRUPTION OF A MONITORED FIRE ALARM OR BURGLAR ALARM SYSTEM, A MEDICAL MONITORING DEVICE, OR….”

4) Zero Commitment to wireless AT&T Internet Air speed -“AT&T makes absolutely no commitment with respect to the speeds AT&T Internet Air will be able to achieve in a particular location. To maximize performance, every effort should be made to position the AT&T Equipment in the optimal position…”

4) You can’t take AT&T to court: “Please read this Agreement carefully. It requires you and AT&T to resolve disputes through arbitration on an individual basis rather than jury trials or class actions.”

Superior Services or violations of consumer protections guaranteed by quality of service requirements?

hashtagDigitaldivide hashtagAT&T hashtagwireless hashtagFCC hashtagCalifornia hashtagfiberoptic

New corporate welfare state? Fiber optics & the Digital Divide

New corporate welfare state? Time to Investigate the billions charged to local customers for fiber optics they never received, and the creation of the Digital Divide.–

Below I quote a NY Times article interviewing the NJ Consumer advocate in 1997, who filed a complaint about the failure of Bell Atlantic (Verizon) New Jersey to bring fiber optic services to low income areas, starting in 1993- and the redlining. Yes, 3 decades ago.

“In the five years since Bell Atlantic promised to wire every home and business in New Jersey with fiber optic cable, the company has hooked up suburban business parks and large corporations and set a schedule for suburban neighborhoods, but has not yet made specific plans for the thousands of poor people who live in the state’s largest cities… Those people have paid for the fiber optic lines through their monthly bills, she said, but they have not yet benefited.”
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It is time to correct the record and point out the factual flaws that are now creating a new corporate welfare state for AT&T, Comcast, etc. –which includes the low income ACP and BEAD monies. – but are not helping the public in the end.

The reports coming out, like the “Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion”, are either clueless or worse they reflect the report’s funders, which include AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast, Crown Castle, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Moreover, it is filled with a cast of other writers, almost all are or have been funded by the companies.

The report’s position (paraphrased)– give the companies more government subsidies on multiple levels. It does not hold those accountable, but wants to reward them.

Truth is: Almost every state telecom utility in America had a fiber optic plan, replacing the copper, starting in 1992; — but never delivered. Then, Verizon et al. pulled another shell game and promised fiber optics in 2004 (FiOS and AT&T, U-verse). And again stopped and instead, around 2011 the construction budgets of the utilities appear to have been diverted to wireless in a bait and switch, but still charged to customers — Virtually no state ever went back and lowered rates, or refunds.

The Latimer plan and all those plans that start at the pandemic, or worse, and they start at the failed National Broadband Plan of 2010–(which never mentioned the state plans) never even mentions now AT&T, Verizon, Centurylink (Lumen) by name and fails to identify that they created the Digital Divide. They got paid, and are still being paid, but never did the upgrades to all customers.

And this is not history — overcharging and wireless-cross-subsidies are still in play in 2023. We don’t need Corporate Welfare. Time to halt the subsidies and overcharging and use these funds in 2023 to pay for fiber upgrades, but also lower rates. (may require registration)

T

Bell Atlantic Plan Neglects Poor, Advocate Says

archive.nytimes.com • 5 min read

Verizon NY FiOS– 500,000 Lines added by July 16, 2023?

Verizon New York has a deadline to provide 1/2 million fiber optic lines as part of the FiOS cable TV franchise. — July 16, 2023. We have a long history about this deployment to have 100% of residential locations covered by 2014 (the deal left out the business locations, however.) We worked with the de Blasio as advocate — requesting the city do a full survey to see what had not been done — which was based on interviews and discussions with the installers, not to mention the problems with other cities and state’s fiber deployments.

We also suggested that the City take Verizon to court and apply the penalties, as well as join in the investigation of the manipulated accounting on the state level— which was part of an effort by ConnectNY coalition– resulting in 30000+ fiber lines being put in unserved areas…but the state dropped anything dealing with the cross-subsidies of wireless— vs the wireline utility construction budgets used for fiber to the home.

Moreover, unless I missed it — The NY state reports and info never mentions this commitment and the FCC filings by the Latimer plan (which I referenced, by Urban League at the FCC) claimed that there was no mention of unserved areas– or redlining, in NYC, even though the state comptroller report, which Mayor de Blasio quoted. was all about the holes in deployment being related to the failure to upgrade lower income areas of the City. –
-This extended agreement was supposed to close gaps in deployment. But, his was supposed to be tracked — I can’t find the public docs. There is no mention in virtually any city or state discussion of ‘broadband’ funded via local rates, put in as Title II and the state telecommunications public utility — or anyone asking fundamental questions —- So. Verizon put the networks in and no one can afford it– so we give gov. subsidies to the companies– without audits of the financials, and then the city decides to put in ‘wireless’ in areas because no one can afford it, or in areas that were never finished? (Some other NYC proceeding.) or the construction for fiber is now being diverted to wireless, illegally since it is title II. (a fact that directly contradicts the Net Neutrality issue.) — And under the new mayor, is this NYC Administration going to do fines or call for investigations of the books or… ?

And, we see the foresight at work — July 16th, 2023 is a Saturday. –And no. FWA Wireless is not a substitute for a fiber to the home service, which we expect will filed, if it hasn’t already. it is a bait and switch.

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Verizon NY Fiber is Title II

(Originally posted on LinkedIn)
The Verizon NY Franchise with NYC states that the fiber optic networks are put in under Title II and part of the upgrading of the state telecommunications public networks.

This is an excerpt shows that this is being done via Verizon NY, the state public telecommunications utility and the City– it is not just ‘Verizon”, the holding company. And notice that it specifically mentions that this is an upgrade of the existing networks and the networks being put in are classified as “Title II”, under the Communications Act of 1934. — This allowed Verizon to charge local phone customers for the “massive deployment of fiber optics”, and rate increases. — which were done at the state level by the NY Public Service Commission — but they never did an audit of the books, or any examination of customer funding or that this franchise was only for NYC — while anyone with phone service over the last 2 decades will have paid for the upgrades.

https://lnkd.in/egUF8t_v

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Broadband State Agencies fail to answer basic questions about how the Digital Divide was created in their state.

The agencies, politicians, advocates and even the investigative reporters don’t even know who is to blame, or what are the core issues that need to be addressed to fix it.

America is now giving over $100 billion in government funding to ‘solve the Digital Divide. We’ve checked multiple county and state Digital Divide agency sites and can not find one state that identified the players — such as the incumbent phone utilities -like Verizon NY, or that AT&T California covers most of LA County. In fact, throughout America, AT&T, Verizon, and CenturyLink, with the help of the cable companies, were responsible for the creation of the Digital Divide. There is no history, no accountability for the state commitments to replace the existing copper wires with fiber optics, the amount of money that was collected (tax perks, rights of way and rate increases, universal service), or the cross-subsidies of the other lines of business via the accounting going on today, now, in 2022, where the construction budgets are diverted to wireless. (We believe it is illegal or bordering on it in various states.)

Starting in 1991, virtually every phone company filed for both state deployment as well as did a federal filing known as video-dialtone, to upgrade cities. The laws were changed multiple times over the decades and billions were collected. This chart is of the video dialtone filings with the FCC. Notice that they were “permanent”. And yet, as if on cue, after the state laws were passed, the companies quietly cancelled these upgrades, as well as the state upgrades, And this is a decade before the next round, Verizon’s FiOS or AT&T’s U-verse, circa 2004. Much of the unserved-underserved areas in 2022 are in territories of the utilities that should have been upgraded, as customers had increases to pay to do this in most states.

And history shows that throwing money at those who have defacto controls over the state wired critical infrastructure, (and have created massive skunkworks networks that are working against the public interests) is a bad idea and won’t work. The government agencies, and most of the advocates, etc. don’t even know who to blame for the creation of the Digital Divide, allowing AT&T et al to not be held accountable and instead rewarding them with government subsidies for their previous failures to do upgrades of the state utility networks.

This was the starting point, based on America’s first National Broadband Plan, NII, and was presented circa 1991–1993 by VP AL Gore, which he dubbed, ‘the Information Superhighway’.

How was it possible that every company filed for millions of fiber optic lines in almost every state and then have almost all of the plans halted? — that’s why we call them Big Telecom?

And to those cities who have been struggling to get upgraded or those who live in rural areas that actually paid thousands of dollars for a fiber optic connection you never got — don’t you believe that the broadband agencies have an obligation to tell the public the truth — and not leave out material facts?

The Digital Divide did not start with the pandemic… It just exposed that the Emperor had no clothes.