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Verizon to Rural America: Voice Link is Coming Soon; Buy a Satellite Dish If You Want Data

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Verizon FiOS is off limits to rural customers. Wireless voice and satellite broadband is in your future.

Verizon Communications has big plans for its “miraculous” wireless home phone replacement which will soon find itself in rural homes across Verizon’s service area as part of a larger plan to dismantle rural America’s wired telephone network.

Just as company executives promised more than a year ago, Verizon wants to transition rural customers to fixed wireless phone service that could mean the end of wired broadband for millions of Verizon customers still using DSL.

Verizon senior vice president Tom Maguire told Communications Daily Voice Link is Verizon’s answer for customers it cannot easily transition to fiber optics. He is thrilled about the prospects of getting rid of deteriorating copper networks in favor of an inexpensive wireless alternative.

“I’m super jazzed about this because I think it will be good for everybody,” he said. “I think it’ll change a lot.”

For rural Verizon customers, the changes could be profound, dramatic, and not exactly a win-win scenario:

  • No more wired phone service, which means medical monitoring, many home security systems, and inexpensive dial-up service that all rely on landline technology will be rendered unusable;
  • No more unlimited use DSL service, no business broadband service, no credit card processing or other electronic business transactions that depend on a wired connection;
  • No enforced quality of service standards, rate oversight, or guarantee of access to quality voice service;
  • No prospect of advanced fiber optic FiOS services, including high bandwidth video and broadband.

Verizon is making it clear Fire Island and the New Jersey Barrier Island are just the first steps towards the retirement of copper, either in favor of fiber optics in high profit/low-cost areas or wireless in rural areas not worth upgrading.

Maguire claims Fire Island residents did not want the company to tear up yards or streets to replace its damaged copper wire network with newer technology like fiber. But Fire Island residents and administrators tell Stop the Cap! they were never asked. Instead, residents are being told Voice Link is likely their only option for traditional phone service on the western half of the island, and some customers are unhappy they will never get FiOS broadband upgrades Verizon says are financially untenable to provide.

Verizon has quietly tested Voice Link in Florida, giving customers the option of keeping their wired service or switching to the wireless alternative. But the test may have been stacked in Voice Link’s favor, as the choice was given to voice-only customers having chronic service problems with Verizon’s deteriorating copper wire network.

Going forward, many rural customers may not have a choice. For those who want Internet access, Verizon isn’t promising its wireless network is up to the task. Their suggested alternative?

Verizon's solution for rural broadband.

Verizon’s solution for rural broadband.

Get a satellite dish.

Maguire acknowledged Voice Link customers won’t be able to fax or do certain activities, but he said the telco never pretended they would. Verizon won’t be offering data services with Voice Link, but if Fire Island customers want more options, they can potentially choose satellite, he said.

Maguire believes that customers living with a deteriorating copper landline network will gravitate quickly towards a wireless phone replacement.

Verizon arranged a blind test of Voice Link for 40,000 customers in another company’s territory with unbranded devices. When the copper wire network performed normally, customers preferred the quality of traditional landline service. But after it rained, the poorly maintained network made all the difference.

“The copper sounded like hell, it was noisy and static-y,” Maguire said.

Maguire did not say if Verizon blind tested whether customers preferred traditional landline service, Voice Link, or its fiber optic FiOS network.

Verizon hopes to begin introducing its Voice Link service in other markets as early as June.

Currently there are 2 comments on this Article:

  1. James Cieloha says:

    Every Verizon customer in it’s rural area footprint should be ashamed of Verizon for choosing to abandoned wireline service in favor of the Voice Link wireless serivce in it’s rural area footprint very severely.

    I feel that Lowell McAdam and Fran Shammo with Verizon are trying to be way too big being like the Wal-Mart’s, the Marlboro’s, the Joe Camel’s, the Paramount Pictures with the movie theater chain of the 1940’s, the Clive Davis’s when he was at Columbia Records in the 1970′s, the Neil Bogart’s of Casablanca Records fame of the 1970′s disco era, the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s, the David Smith (one of the Smith brothers from Sinclair Broadcast Group), the Perry Sock and the Nexstar Broadcasting Group, the Harry Pappas as part of the Pappas Telecasting Companies, the Bernard Madoff’s, the Enron’s, the Worldcom’s, the Adelphia’s, the Tyco’s, the Martha Stewart’s, the Jill Kelley’s, the Orie sister’s, and the Jesse Jackson Jr’s, of the 2000′s by letting greed get out of control so all of the head employees and bosses at Verizon to be able to enjoy carefree lavishly spending to support carefree lavishly lifestyles with luxurious homes, luxurious yachts, luxurious jets, luxurious cars, join luxurious clubs, go to luxurious conventions, go to luxurious hotels, go to luxurious casinos to do gambling, go to horse races, throw luxurious parties, and have other luxurious items just to make them very happy then trying and willingness to improve the quality of all of their employees and making the customers very happy as well. I hope and I wish that Verizon goes out of business for their unwillingness to care for their customers and their employees. I feel that Verizon are trying to bribe like the General Tire/RKO General of the 1960′s and 1970′s by not being very honest of not only the customers and also on themselves.

    I hope and I wish that the FCC would allow all the television and telephone providers with internet broadband that has never ever impose usage caps to the internet broadband customers be allowed to purchase and acquired customers from Verizon and are being required to make a real big concession that they would promised not to have any difficulties with all the internet broadband providers competitors and their customers by not imposing usage caps and meters and raising prices for them to put them out of business sooner and without any interference for 12 straight whole years.

    I feel that Lowell McAdam and Fran Shammo with Verizon are way too big being way too busy trying be act like the Jerry Sandusky’s as the assaulters, the Jodi Arias’s, the Casey Anthony’s, the Charles Starkweather’s, the Charles Manson’s, the Lyle and Erik Menendez’s, the O. J. Simpson’s, the Scott Peterson’s, and the Drew Peterson’s as the greedy murderers, the Lindsay Lohan’s as the drunk and the drug abuser, the Rodney Dangerfield’s, the John Belushi’s, and the Chris Farley’s as the comedians, the Gordon Gekko’s, the Victoria Grayson’s, the Victor Newman’s/the Jack Abbott’s, the J. R. Ewing’s/the Cliff Barnes’s, the Charles Montgomery Burn’s, the Homer and Bart Simpson’s, the Peter Griffin’s, the Mickey Mouse’s/the Minnie Mouse’s, the Bugs Bunny’s/the Daffy Duck’s/the Porky Pig’s, the Garfield cat’s, the Cookie Monster’s, the Miss Piggy’s, and the Pillsbury Doughboy’s, of the television, telephone and internet broadband industry of preferring to make customers be forced to have Voice LInk wireless service in it’s rural area footprint.

    I feel that Lowell McAdam and Fran Shammo with Verizon are trying to turn into the 1919 Chicago White Sox’s baseball team and the Southern Methodist University football of the 1980′s to force all the customers to accept whether or not the customers will be willing to deal with Verizon customer service and making them deal with just having Voice Link wireless service in it’s rural area footprint by the use of extortion. I urge all the Verizon customers in Mantoloking, New Jersey to boycott Lowell McAdam and Fran Shammo with Verizon right now for making all the customers suffer from having to deal with being forced to be stuck with having Voice Link wireless service in it’s rural area footprint in a big huge ugly game of baw baw baw baw baw baw baw baw baw baw baw baw chicken in the future of the telephone industry .

    I’m commented in response to all Verizon customers who are very sick and tired of all the ways Lowell McAdam and Fran Shammo with Verizon to make sure that communities don’t build their own broadband networks and have fears to see Verizon internet service deteriorate very much rapidly in a heartbeat in it’s rural area footprint.

    I gracefully would support all community internet broadband providers and would want all of them to be able to be allowed to provide the fastest internet speeds of up to 1GB very fairly by the communities being allowed to build their own fiber optics cable lines without interference from Lowell McAdam and Fran Shammo with Verizon with the fact that Verizon is already providing very limited internet broadband service at way less broadband speeds to all of their own customers.

    I hope and I wish that Lowell McAdam and Fran Shammo with Verizon is willing to allow all the communites to build out their own fiber optic cable networks for their superior mega fast internet broadband service that beats out Verizon internet service and speeds to all of their own customers in it’s rural area footprint.

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