Score: Verizon NY Settlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 17th, 2018

New Networks Institute (NNI) & the IRREGULATORS— just helped to get Verizon to install 10,000 fiber optic lines in Verizon New York’s unserved areas as well as get the needed repairs for the copper networks. — We estimate this to be about $300 million to $1/2 billion dollars over time.

Our research and calls for an investigation started in 2010, and our reports, filings and analytical approach helped to initiate and was used in the investigation.

We are mentioned in the decision and will be taking next steps on this as we filed to block this settlement agreement —it left out billions in cross-subsidies and customer overcharging.

We congratulate Communications Workers of America (CWA) and PULP, Public Utility Law Project, for their dogged persistence and putting our research and analysis to good use.

Press release --  https://on.ny.gov/2L1NccN

"PSC Approves Verizon Service Quality Improvement Plan  — Telecommunications Company Agrees to Expand Broadband Service to 32,000 Customers, Helping to 
Fulfill Governor Cuomo’s Goal to Expand Broadband Service in  New York; Make Much-Needed Repairs to Existing Copper Service; Remove Unused Telephone Poles to Improve Safety —
Settlement  -- https://on.ny.gov/2mnE8QY

"The Commission declines to follow New Networks Institute’s  recommendations to reject the JP, continue investigating
Verizon’s financial practices, and require that wireline customers be reimbursed for the alleged improper cross-subsidization
of Verizon’s wireless affiliates.  The Commission’s primary objectives in this proceeding were to investigate and evaluate
the quality of service Verizon is providing to its customers (Core and non-Core).
   More particularly, this proceeding was commenced when changing circumstances called into question the Commission’s premise for
continuing Verizon’s service quality focus on Core customers. The Commission was concerned by Verizon’s announced plans to stop
expanding its fiber network beyond areas currently served.  The Commission also pointed to data indicating fewer customers  were leaving
Verizon’s networks.
    Given these indications, and the fact that more than 2 million of Verizon’s current customers remain reliant on an aging copper network,
the Commission decided to examine whether changes to Verizon’s service quality oversight are necessary.  The Commission recognized that this
investigation would inherently include an examination as to the state of the copper system and whether Verizon’s investment in its network has
been sufficient to provide adequate levels of service to consumers on regulated services.  But, the Commission did not state any intention to
revisit rate-of-return regulation.  The Commission did recognize an expectation that the Company will continue to invest in its New York regulated operations 
as the Public Service Law unequivocally requires Verizon to provide adequate service.  The Commission also made it clear
that it would take the necessary action under the Public Service Law to address shortcomings if the market fails
to provide Verizon an appropriate incentive to meet its statutory obligations.  That said, the Commission has broad authority under the
Public Service Law to initiate further investigations if the circumstances so warrant.
 
   The Commission focus has long been on ensuring compliance with minimum standards of service quality for customers lacking competitive
choice.  The Commission has previously investigated claims that Verizon has not been adequately investing in its copper network.  In that
context, the Commission has acknowledged that, in response to technological advances, the telecommunications landscape has changed
dramatically.  The Commission has also recognized that, in evaluating Verizon’s performance, it must consider the extent to which investment in the legacy 
copper network would be cost effective when that network is becoming competitively and technologically obsolete.

The terms of the JP will implement specific  improvements in Verizon’s system that will directly improve the
service quality deficiencies that led to the commencement of this proceeding.  In light of all this, we disagree with New
Network’s recommendation to reject the Joint Proposal.  The terms of the JP should result in service quality improvements
that promote the public interest. Moreover, with regard to other commenters’ complaints about Verizon’s maintenance of its copper network and being forced onto more expensive
wireless and fiber networks, the Commission notes that Verizon is required to offer its tariff services and tariffed-based rates regardless of the type of network delivering the telephone call.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Commission has long recognized the benefits and resiliency of the fiber network over the older vintage copper network a
nd we note here that the JP will further that goal.
    Finally, in the Commission’s Initiating Order, we raised the question of whether “Verizon’s service quality processes and programs pertaining 
to all the Company’s regulated customers” are sufficient “to determine if modification of Verizon’s revised SQIP is warranted.”
    In light of the JP’s terms and conditions being approved herein, the Commission does not believe any changes are required at this time.
However, as







The IRREGULATORS & New Networks Institute File FCC Comments in Settlement Case Against Verizon-NY

  • Comment 1: is a short overview as well as a bibliography of our research, which is directly tied to this proceeding It also gives a brief discussion of issues that have been overlooked or are missing and need to be part of the next steps the State should be implementing.
  • Comment 2: is a more detailed view of the current proceeding and Verizon settlement, as published in tbe Huffington Post: Verizon NY in Multi-Billion Dollar Settlement Tangle, Underway in NY State.
  • Comment 3: : is a full analysis of the Verizon NY’s 2016 Annual Report Verizon NY 2016 Annual Report: Follow the Money: Financial Analysis and Implications

Verizon New York 2016 Annual Report: Follow the Money: Financial Analysis and Implications

Verizon-NY is the state-based Telecommunications Utility serving the majority of New York State; it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the holding company, Verizon Communications. Verizon-NY is required to file an annual report with the NY State Public Service Commission (NYPSC) that suppli es data that were originally provided in state-based reports filed with the FCC, known as ARMIS. The FCC, for some reason, stopped requiring this information by-state in 2007.

Verizon Wireless, Verizon Online, Verizon Business, etc., are all separate subsidiaries of Verizon Communications and are “subsidiaries” of Verizon-NY. While they maintain separate financial accounting, there are clear cross-subsidies of these other lines of business from the state utility, Verizon-NY.

This report is part of and must be seen in light of what is happening throughout the US and at the FCC. The only thing unique about Verizon NY is that it is required to do an annual report by the NYPSC. We do not know of any other state that has publicly available financial information, though some states keep the info and require a FOIA request to obtain it.

Unfortunately, while the NYPSC collects the data, it has never acted on what we found and no other state we know of has audited the financial books. The FCC has never audited these financial books, even though they are making rules that directly impact customers in urban ad rural areas across the US.

Link to Follow the Money: Verizon New York 2016 Annual Report:Financial Analysis & Implications

Reddit’s Reaction to the Book of Broken Promises

About “The Book of Broken Promises: $400 Billion Broadband Scandal & Free the Net”, by Bruce Kushnick
https://www.reddit.com/r/explainlikeimfive/comments/6c5e97/eli5_how_were_isps_able_to_pocket_the_200_billion/

explainlikeimfive:

I’ve seen this thread in multiple places across Reddit:

I’m usually skeptical of such dramatic claims, but I’ve only found one contradictory source online, and it’s a little dramatic itself:

So my question is: how were ISP’s able to receive so much money with zero accountability? Did the government really set up a handshake agreement over $200 billion?

Bruce Kushnik’s Response:

Maybe you should go to the source: I’ve written three books about this starting in 1998 — and all of these appear to be related to the same threads — over two decades.

Here’s a free copy of the latest book, “The Book of Broken Promises: $400 Billion Broadband Scandal & Free the Net”, which we put up a few
weeks ago because few, if anyone actually bothered to read how the calculations were done. They were based on the Telecom companies’ annual reports, state filings, etc.– and the data is based on 20 years of documentation.

I’ve been tracking the Telecom deployments of fiber optics since 1991 when they were announced as something called the Information Superhighway. The plan was to have America be the first fiber optic country — and each phone company went to their state commissions and legislatures and got tax breaks and rate increases to fund these ‘Utility network’ upgrades that were supposed to replace the existing copper wires with fiber optics — starting in 1992. It was all a con.

As a former senior telecom analyst (the Telecoms my clients) I realized that they had submitted fraudulent cost models, and fabricated the deployment plans. The first book, 1998, laid out some of the history “The Unauthorized Biography of the Baby Bells” with foreword by Dr. Bob Metcalfe (co-inventor of Ethernet networking). I then released “$200 Billion Broadband Scandal” in 2005, which gave the details as by then more than 1/2 of America should have been completed — but wasn’t. The mergers to make the Telecom companies larger were also supposed to bring broadband– but it didn’t. I updated the book in 2015 “The Book of Broken Promises $400 Billion broadband Scandal and Free the Net”, but realized that there were other scams along side this — like manipulating the accounting.

We paid about 9 times for upgrades to fiber for home or schools and we got nothing to show for it — about $4000-7000 per household (though it varies by state and telco). By 2017 it’s over 1/2 trillion.

Finally, I note. These are not “ISPs”; they are State Telecommunications Utility companies that were able to take over the other businesses (like ISPs) thanks to the FCC under Mike Powell, now the head of the cable association.

They got away with it because they could create a fake history that reporters and politicians kept repeating. No state has ever done a full audit of the monies collected in the name of broadband; no state ever went back and reduced rates or held the companies accountable. And no company ever ‘outed’ the other companies– i.e., Verizon NJ never said that AT&T California didn’t do the upgrades.

That’s because they are all guilty of the same scheme, more or less. I do note that Verizon at least rolled out some fiber. AT&T pulled a bait and switch and deployed U-Verse over the aging copper wires (with a ‘fiber node’ within a mile).

It’s time to take this to court. Period. We should go after the financial manipulations (cross-subsidies) where instead of doing the upgrades to fiber, they took the money and spent it everywhere else, like buying AOL or Time Warner (or overseas investments), etc. We should hold them accountable before this new FCC erases all of the laws and obligations.

FREE DOWNLOAD: “The Book of Broken Promises: $400 Billion Broadband Scandal & Free the Net”

Huffington Post

The Book of Broken Promises

“Kushnick’s Law”

“A regulated company will always renege on promises to provide public benefits tomorrow in exchange for regulatory and financial benefits today.”

America’s households and businesses have been overcharged at least nine times for broadband/fiber optic services, including the wiring of schools, libraries, and hospitals— about $4000-$7000 per household, and the total is way over ½ trillion dollars by 2016. You can thank just a few companies: AT&T, Verizon and Centurylink, who control the state-based utilities, along with the cable companies, Comcast and now-Spectrum et al. And this is the low number.

The 3rd book in a trilogy that started in 1998, “The Book of Broken Promises” by Bruce Kushnick, proves that few have a clue about the factual history of broadband, much less fiber optic deployments in America that customers paid for, especially the FCC.

April 2017 was Infrastructure Month at the FCC; shame you weren’t told the truth. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a former Verizon attorney, has been making sure you hear the fake history of broadband and the Internet, which is being used to create exceedingly harmful public policies, and this needs to be stopped, now.

And regardless of what you heard, Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink control the state telecommunications utilities, such as Verizon NY or AT&T-California, a fact that has been erased. And the copper wires, as well as most of the fiber optic wires are part of these state utilities, including those used for FiOS or the wires to the cell sites, or all of the other ‘business data services’ (BDS). And they have been funded mainly by local phone customers—and are classified as something called “Title II”.

(Yes, AT&T and Verizon are also wireless companies, and ISPs, and cable companies, and broadband companies, and more recently ad-tech and entertainment companies. However, almost all of it uses the state utility wires, especially in their own territories.)

Here’s What Actually Happened (For details, download the book.)

Read More

NYC Sues Verizon of Fiber Optics; AG Sues Spectrum Cable Over Deceptive Speeds

 1 million NYC homes can’t get Verizon FiOS, so the city just sued Verizon

Nearly 1 million New York households do not have access to Verizon’s fiber-based FiOS service. Verizon says it has brought its network to 2.2 million NYC residences, while the city has an estimated 3.1 million households.

The city government’s complaint in the New York State Supreme Court seeks a declaration that Verizon is in breach of its obligations and an order to complete the project. The 2008 agreement, which gave Verizon a citywide cable television franchise, said Verizon must “pass all households” with its fiber-to-the-premises network by June 30, 2014. The agreement covered only cable television, but the fiber build-out also provided faster Internet speeds because the same fiber is used to deliver both services.

Click to Read the Complaint:

 

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Lawsuit Against Spectrum-Time Warner Cable And Charter Communications For Allegedly Defrauding New Yorkers Over Internet Speeds And Performance, February 1st, 2017

Complaint Alleges Nation’s Second-Largest Internet Service Provider Systematically And Knowingly Failed To Deliver The Reliable And Fast Internet Access It Promised To Subscribers Across The State

Suit Seeks To Compensate Spectrum-Time Warner Cable Subscribers For Five Years Of Broken Promises And Damages And Restitution That Could Be Worth Upwards Of Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars

Click Here To Read The Full Complaint Filed In NY State Supreme Court