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.”
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)


Bell Atlantic Plan Neglects Poor, Advocate Says • 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.


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.


On-line Remedy In Montana Bridger Peaks Counseling

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Seventy-one p.c stated the providers total were both very good or wonderful. Ally is a senior editor for Verywell, who covers topics within the well being, wellness, and way of life spaces. She has written for The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC Future, and more. Those using a desktop browser can enable the accessibility preferences on their account, whereas cellular customers can use their device’s native accessibility features. Everyday Health supports Group Black and its mission to extend greater diversity in media voices and media possession.

Unlike Talkspace, all of BetterHelp’s pricing plans embody a weekly stay video session. To enroll, full an automated assessment, and they’ll match you with your greatest fit. “As a psychologist, I’ve discovered on-line remedy to be surprisingly efficient,” says Dr. Paula Durlofsky, who practices in Pennsylvania. All of the totally different on-line counseling platforms vary a bit in how they function and the way the communication between you and your therapist is handled. Many of these platforms are just like nose to nose counseling except that they’re performed via on-line chat rooms, video chats or cellphone calls. Some of the benefits of the Betterhelp platform is that it matches you with one of the best and most related therapist based mostly in your solutions to it’s screening questionnaire.

We encrypt all data utilizing 256 bit SSL security and are HIPAA compliant. Only your prescribing supplier may have entry to your info. You would possibly feel relieved that you’ve been able to unburden your self, or even awe at the means your counselor “gets” you. Like every relationship, there’s often a honeymoon period, by which you admire and respect your counselor, assured in their capacity to heal you. Cognitive behavioral therapy changed the definition of counseling, in accordance with Rossi. It is now extra behavior-focused and psychodynamic approaches have become much less common.

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Many mental well being professionals and organizations run on-line programs, webinars, and workshops about particular matters, such as stress administration, anxiety, and melancholy. Talking remedy costs can be excessive, and not all health insurance plans present coverage for them. However, there are free or low value on-line therapy choices to suppose about. Many standards were thought-about when selecting the best online remedy platforms. The most necessary being the therapist’s skills and credibility, pricing, ease of use, buyer evaluations, accessibility and insurance coverage coverage. The sign-up process is much like the other choices on the listing — you fill out a questionnaire and are matched with a therapist.

We recognize this to be certainly one of many steps to take part in the calls to action made by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. We proceed to explore methods during which we can proceed to assist and be allies to Indigenous communities. Most are due to ethical or authorized issues, corresponding to conflicts of interest.

Like some other type of remedy, on-line therapy has benefits and disadvantages. Considering these can help an individual decide whether online therapy may be right for them. In addition, some apps enable people to connect with trained therapists or peers who are experiencing related issues. Some folks choose using online boards to attach with others who are in or have experienced similar conditions. Through these forums, an individual can discover assist, recommendation, and encouragement from peers.

Furthermore, virtual therapy can save you from intensive and complicated points sooner or later. Secondly, with digital remedy, you can feel more comfy sharing private data that you simply might not be ready to share in in-person therapy. Additionally, you’ll have the ability to register on any online remedy platform together with your nickname to cover your identity. In addition, there are other options too that need to be considered before choosing the best online therapy service, as an example, pricing, plans, and therapy format choices . Fortunately, you don’t need to be involved anymore as a result of this submit got you.

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Talkspace is a user-friendly, subscription-based on-line remedy firm that gives a quantity of services , as nicely as quite lots of communication options, and a few services may be coated by insurance coverage. BetterHelp is an industry-leading online therapy supplier that covers a vast vary of therapy providers. In addition to its excessive total customer satisfaction score with the customers we surveyed, relying in your location, it may have a typically decrease subscription value than many different teletherapy providers. Once you’ve chosen a specific service that works for you, you’ll have to take some steps to schedule your first on-line remedy session. As such, many of Talkspace’s accredited therapists are skilled in serving to patients deal with anxiousness and stress, and you may request this specific sort of support in the course of the matching course of. The site also notes they supply therapists who have experience working with teenagers ages thirteen to 17 and drugs management is offered if deemed necessary.

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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.

FCC $9 Billion 5G Giveaway.

The FCC has decided that it should give $9 billion for the deployment of wireless 5G, but the FCC has never examined that there has been a massive cross-subsidies of the wireless networks, where Local phone customers have ended up being charged for the fiber optic networks used by Verizon and AT&T wireless. We filed for the FCC to investigate these cross-subsidies, which include 5G wireless. Click to Read the Filing

FACT SHEET: Verizon Massachusetts Fiber Optic Failure


Verizon Massachusetts Fiber Optic Failure, 1994-2020

1994: Verizon Massachusetts files with the Mass Department of Public Utilities to have fiber optic services, to replace the existing copper wires. The included colleges and universities, hospitals, as well as 330,000 residence and businesses.

1994: This same plan was also filed with the FCC known as “Video Dialtone”, and claimed the majority of the entire state would be finished by 2010.

“NYNEX proposes to deploy hybrid fiber optic and coaxial (HFC) broadband networks that will provide advanced voice, data, and video services, including interactive video entertainment, multimedia education and health care services… “NYNEX plans to deploy this type of network to the majority of its customers by the year 2010.”

1995: Verizon filed and was granted “alternative regulations”, which gave the company

1999: In New Networks institute filed a complaint in Massachusetts outlining how Verizon (then New England Telephone) convinced regulators that they would rewire the state starting in 1995 if the company got massive financial incentives – Deregulation — the removal of regulation that examined and limited their profits. The Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy, never acted on our complaint.

2005: Verizon announces FiOS and gets some municipality franchises for cable TV

2007: We presented testimony in front of the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Telecommunications Utilities and Energy.

2010: Verizon announces it is halting the fiber optic deployments in all states.

2016:  Bait and Switch: Verizon announced it would be upgrading 100% of Boston and spend $300 million dollars.  Instead, most of this has been a bait and switch to use the fiber optic wires that should go to homes to instead roll out wireless, and 5G Wireless.

We documented the story in articles in Huff Post and Medium.



Huffington Post/Medium articles about AT&T and California