New Networks Institute & the IRREGULATORS File to Halt the Proposed Verizon NY Settlement & Call for a Continuation of the Investigation.
Billions in Wireless Cross-Subsidies, Customer Overcharging, Failure to Upgrade Cities & Questionable Tax Losses are at Stake.
Governor Cuomo Implicated in Eliminating these Investigations.
FIRST AND IMMEDIATE: PLEASE FILE “LATE” COMMENTS TO ENDORSE OUR PLAN:
- Send Comments to: email@example.com
- Reference: CASE 16-C-0122
- Reference: IRREGULATORS Request Extension and halt to the settlement.
- SEE THE OTHER FILINGS AT THE COMMISSION:
- There was a comments period until April 16th and you (and everyone else) missed it. Thousands of people, companies, cities and politicians participated and testified in the previous related proceedings, but for this decision, the State failed to properly notify these people and organizations—anyone about this proceeding.
- IF YOU WERE NOT NOTIFIED, TELL THE STATE.
On March 2nd, 2018 a settlement was proposed between Verizon New York, the state-telecommunications utility, and the NY Department of Public Service, (NYPSC), joined CWA and PULP, to halt an investigation that started in 2016, but was part of a series of proceedings over the last 5 years at the NYPSC This investigation had 2 parts:
- Part 1: Verizon has left the state copper-based utility networks to deteriorate and there has been a lack of upgrades to broadband or even maintenance of the existing networks.
- Part II: There has been massive financial shell game between the state utility, Verizon NY and the other Verizon subsidiaries, especially Verizon Wireless.
And, while there are some basic fixes to the neglected infrastructure, Part 2 has been eliminated from this proposed settlement.
Governor Cuomo’s fingerprints are all over the elimination of the investigations to help his broadband plan or to give other gifts to his corporate friends. Tucked away in the State budget was some telco-written wireless legislation that aids in the removal of city regulations and any examination of what the phone companies want to do for a non-existent service, “5G”. (It was removed, but it will be back.)
Over the last 8 years New Networks (NNI) and the IRREGULATORS have uncovered a massive financial accounting shell game where billions of dollars have been charged to local phone customers, making the state utility networks a cash machine to fund all of the other Verizon businesses, including the wireless networks. These cross-subsidies cost customers thousands of dollars extra and diverted billions in construction to roll out the wireless networks instead of upgrading cities, among other harms. In fact, our work helped to initiate these investigations.
And yet, this proposed settlement fails to even acknowledge the years of investigations by the State or addresses any of the primary issues.
Read Our Filing That’s why we’re calling for a halt to this Verizon NY gift.
Need More Details? CLICK for a Fact Sheet 2-Pager
- Verizon NY Didn’t Pay Most Taxes: Since 2010-2016, Verizon NY lost $15.7 billion and didn’t pay most taxes; instead Verizon had tax benefits of $7.2 billion.
- The Utility Illegally Funded the Wireless Networks. From 2010 to 2012, alone, Verizon New York paid about $2.8 billion to build out the fiber optic wires used by Verizon Wireless—and that money was charged to local phone customers.
- Local phone customers paid over $1000.00 extra, per line, in rate increases since 2005. Worse, local phone customers have been paying around $500 extra a year; the actual costs to offer the copper-based services should have been in steep decline, and prices should have followed.
- Low income families, seniors, small businesses—rural areas – all paid thousands of dollars extra.
- Cities were not wired due to the cross-subsidies.
- There is no cable competition and the Verizon cut a deal with the cable companies to bundle wireless and/or let them rent the wireless networks.
- All wireless services prices are inflated. Verizon and AT&T, et al. control the wireline networks that go to the cell sites, and have manipulated the accounting in multiple ways – with the help of the FCC.
Nationwide Problem: This is not just a Verizon NY problem. All of the Verizon states, as well as AT&T and CenturyLink, the state incumbent utilities, have used the same accounting and business practices. Verizon NY is a documented model of the issues.
- We request an extension of the current comment period until July 15th, 2018 to examine the Verizon NY 2017 Financial Annual Report, published May 31, 2018.
- We are calling for a halt to the proposed settlement between Verizon, NY, the NYPSC and parties, which has eliminated all mention of the investigation of the financial cross-subsidies between Verizon NY and Verizon’s subsidiaries
- We are calling for the NYPSC to continue to investigate the billions of dollars in cross-subsidies between Verizon NY and Verizon Wireless and the other Verizon subsidiaries—then fix this ongoing financial shell game.
About Us: The IRREGULATORS is 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, and former Telecom consultants. Members of the group have been working together, in different configurations, since 1999.
Click and visit our library of data, analysis, filings, etc. This is mostly dedicated to Verizon NY and the FCC’s current policies.
Contact: Bruce Kushnick firstname.lastname@example.org