Verizon Pennsylvania’s Failure to Upgrade PA with Fiber optic Services; the Bait-and-Switch Resources.
Huffington Post: Summary
Verizon Pennsylvania’s Commitment to Have 100 Percent Coverage of High-Speed Broadband by 2015? — A Quadruple Bait-and-Switch.
FACT SHEET 1: The History of Fiber Optic Broadband in Pennsylvania
- Verizon PA overcharged customers about $18 billion for a fiber optic future they never got; this doesn’t include the monies from the cross-subsidies of the wireless networks and other lines of business which we recently uncovered
FACT SHEET 2: Verizon PA Broadband Coverage Estimates
- By the end of 2015, we estimate that Verizon PA only had 40% or less of their FiOS, fiber optic deployments covered; and that
- they claimed that they fulfilled their requirements for 100% of the state with wireless at a speed of 1.5 Mbps, not 45 Mbps.
Research presented in Written Testimony of Sascha. Meinrath Palmer Chair in Telecommunications, The Penn State University, Before the Pennsylvania State Senate Communications and Technology Committee Hearing on: Improving Access to High-Speed Broadband Internet, Monday, September 23, 2019,
Research presented in Testimony Before the Pennsylvania State House Democratic Policy Committee Hearing on Net Neutrality Monday, March 29, 2021
Liberty Bell, Stolen: The History of Fiber Optic Broadband in Pennsylvania, is a chapter of $200 Billion Broadband Scandal, and covers the details of what happened from 1991 through 2004
- In 1991, the Clinton-Gore presidential ticket put forward a plan called the “Information Superhighway”, to replace the existing copper wires in the state utilities, (that could be 20-70 years old), with a fiber optic wire that could offer new services and compete directly with cable TV.
The hype for these networks made the 5G Wireless noise look like a whisper.
- “PA Senate OKs Fiber Optics Bill” June 24, 1993, Philadelphia Daily News.
- “PA Legislature Compromises on Fiber-Optics Bill. The Measure Calls for the State to Be Wired By 2015”. June 25, 1993, Philadelphia
- “Phone Bill Goes To House. The Measure Would Limit Rate Increases and Require A Fiber-Optic Network by 2015”. May 24, 1993, Philly Inquirer
- In 1992, a plan was put forward called “Opportunity Pennsylvania” that would have 100% of what is now Verizon PA upgrade their state-based, copper-based utility to fiber optics. It would have a speed of 45 Mbps in both directions and cover rural, urban and suburban areas equally.
- “Opportunity Pennsylvania” was a cookie-cut plan created by Deloitte & Touche that was used in NJ, PA, IA, OH and IL,
- Instead of having the government build this networks, the incumbent phone companies-including Bell Atlantic, which controlled Bell of PA claimed they would do the work if there were changes in the state laws; Verizon PA was granted “alternative regulations” (also called “Price caps” or “incentive regulations”.)
- 1993, the PA state legislature created Chapter 30 which modified the State utility code. Then the PA Public Utility Commission (PAPUC) put together an agreement to Verizon PA would upgrade their entire territory,100%, rural, urban and suburban areas equally, by the year 2015, with speeds of 45 mbps in both directions.
Bell Atlantic Press Release, 1996
“The fiber-to-the-curb architecture that Bell Atlantic will build is the next step in the company’s ongoing, aggressive network modernization program…. Bell Atlantic plans to begin its network upgrade in Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania later this year. The company plans to expand this Full Service Network deployment to other key markets over the next three years. Ultimately, Bell Atlantic expects to serve most of the 12 million homes and small businesses across the mid-Atlantic region with switched broadband networks.”
- At the same time, Bell Atlantic filed “video dialtone” applications with the FCC to upgrade the copper wires to fiber, which included PA. In fact, almost every phone company submitted similar proposals, and these were approved.
- By 2003, nothing had been deployed. New Networks Institute (and Teletruth) filed a complaint, claiming that $1135.00 had been collected per household through the changes in state laws by then almost $4 billion dollars.
- Press Release
- Read the Updated Complaint
- Read the Updated Complaint (Word)
- Read the Original Complaint (Word)
- Are You Owed $1,135.00 for a Fiber Optic Network You Never Received?
- Teletruth Files Complaint with the Penn PUC to Investigate $3.9 Billion in Missing Fiber-Optic Networks.
- In 1994, Verizon committed to a fiber-optic network to customers homes with speeds of 45 Mbps, in both directions— and never delivered. This is 40 times faster than ADSL
- By 2004, Verizon was supposed to have rewired 50% of the state in both rural, suburban and Urban areas equally with a fiber-optic to the home wire. Instead, DSL goes over the 100-year-old-copper wiring.
- Fraud — At the end of 2003, we estimate customers paid $1135 per household — A total of $3.9 billion.
- It’s 2004 and they still can’t build the networks.- It’s now clear they couldn’t build the networks in 1994 when they made these commitments
- State laws were changed to give the phone company more money. This change went from a “Rate-of-Return” that examined profits to an “Alternate Regulation” (Deregulation) that only examined the price of Service.
- From 2000-2003, there was a 62% drop in Capital Expenditures, and since the Alternate Regulation went into effect in 1993, there has been a 43% drop in employees — 6,510 employees were let go.
- Instead, the money is going to increase Verizon PA Dividends, which went up 131% from 2000-2003.
- Excessive Tax Savings — Verizon wrote-off over $1.2 billion stating they were replacing the old copper with new fiber — they never did it
- Illegal Cross-Subsidies — Customers are illegally being charged for Verizon’s rollout of DSL.
- Where’s ALL the Money? The Top 6 Verizon Executives got $400 million –$1 billion in stock options in 2001, while the company lost over $10 billion in bad overseas investments!
- Collusion? This same exact scam happened in multiple Verizon states, from New Jersey and Maryland to Massachusetts and D.C.
- 2003, the PA PUC also found that Verizon PA had not fulfilled its obligations. Unfortunately, there was a wrinkle; the original legislation only required 1.5 Mbps in one direction. There was some pushback from the state Advocate, (who believed that the Verizon documents filed could keep the 45 Mbps), but the slower speed remained
|1||Liberty Bell Stolen . Here’s a decision by the Public Utility Commission to NOT hold Verizon accountable for a fiber-optic Future.|
|2.||Chairman Fitzpatrick Stands Up for Customers. The PUC Chairman points out that a 45MPS service was promised, and paid for by Customers, not DSL.|
|3||Letter by the Pennsylvania Advocate about Rate Increases of HB30. This proposed bill will raise your phone rates and not deliver Broadband.|
|4||Consumer Advocate discusses the record of Verizon 45mps commitments.After reading this, it should be clear that Verizon made commitments that their lawyers and lobbyists want ignored.|
|6||Independent Analysis Shows $4 billion of Excess. (Economics & Tech. Testimony)(PDF)
“Verizon Pennsylvania has realized financial gains in excess of $4-billion as a direct result of Chapter 30 ‘alternate regulation’.”