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.
- Our filings and work: https://newnetworks.com/ny-related-filings/
- About the issues and our involvement. https://bit.ly/2JCdQne
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