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Verizon Voice Link Expanding Into Buffalo, Watertown in Upstate N.Y.; FiOS Expansion? Fuggedaboutit

Phillip Dampier July 22, 2013 Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Rural Broadband, Verizon, Video, Wireless Broadband 4 Comments

special reportDespite warnings from public safety officials the wireless landline alternative proposed by Verizon is unreliable and potentially a threat to the safety and well-being of customers, Verizon is moving full speed ahead to deploy Voice Link service in New York and New Jersey communities where existing Verizon landlines have deteriorated and FiOS fiber optics is a distant dream.

On July 12, the Communications Workers of America reported that Verizon’s repair call centers in New York City are now assigning employees to Voice Link-related jobs.

“In addition, CWA members report that technicians are receiving specialized Voice Link installation training and are being assigned to carry out installations in the Buffalo and Watertown areas,” said Chris Shelton, vice president of CWA District 1.

The union also confirmed no further expansion work was being done on Verizon’s FiOS fiber network outside of the areas already committed by the company. Verizon FiOS is only available in a few Buffalo suburbs and not available in Watertown at all.

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/CWA District 1 VP speaks about Verizon Voice Link 6-13-13.mp4

CWA District 1 vice president Chris Shelton summed up Verizon’s aggressive deployment of Voice Link: “We can’t allow these dirty bastards to do this to their own customers, who they don’t give a s**t about….” (Warning: Strong Language) (3 minutes)

beware voice link

Sullivan County

Sullivan County

More than 130 county executives, legislators, mayors, town supervisors, and councilors representing 68 New York State communities including Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Plattsburgh, Ithaca, Jamestown, Poughkeepsie, Rome, and Elmira called on the PSC to declare Voice Link an experimental service and not allow it to serve as the sole service offering on Fire Island or anywhere else:

The Commission stated that “[it] has been the Commission’s policy that utilities determine how to provision service via any combination of facilities – wires, fiber optics, electronics – so long as the tariffed service meets the Commission’s prescribed rules and customer expectations.”

Voice Link, as currently offered, does not meet Municipalities’ expectations. Instead, Voice Link would jeopardize municipalities’ ability to fulfill their responsibility to protect the safety of the citizens who reside and work in their communities. The broad and significant implications of Verizon’s proposed tariff warrant a full investigation. New technology should be deployed after solutions are found, not before.

Municipalities urge the Commission to develop a full factual record and to offer interested stakeholders the opportunity to participate fully in this important proceeding. Municipalities rely on the Commission to guide the evolution of the state’s telecommunications infrastructure in a manner that protects citizens’ safety and promotes economic development.

The legislators called Voice Link a threat to public safety and its installation hampered communities from protecting local residents.

In Sullivan County, where Verizon is attempting to introduce Voice Link as an option for seasonal residents, Undersheriff Eric Chaboty said using wireless service carries risks in an emergency.



At a press conference covered by the Mid-Hudson News Service, Chaboty made it clear homeowners should not feel pressured to sign up for Voice Link. Chaboty recounted a story of his neighbor’s house catching fire and the owner called 911 from a cell phone using the same wireless network Voice Link would use. The call was mistakenly routed to another county instead of Sullivan County 911, and by the time the call reached the correct emergency responders, the family’s home burned to the ground.

Stories like that may explain why Verizon has taken great pains to disclaim responsibility for a customer’s inability to reach 911 or be connected to the correct public safety operator.

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-Forestburgh) was incredulous Verizon would even attempt to introduce Voice Link in the rural Catskill Mountains, which is notorious for lousy cell reception.

“Too much of this county has no service at all and no hope on the horizon,” she told the audience. “Until the time comes when companies like Verizon are willing to make the investment to ensure reliable and thorough coverage, products like Voice Link are an insult and a danger to our community.”

Legislators across the state also suspect Voice Link will create an incentive for Verizon to neglect its already-deteriorating copper wire network, accelerating the need to deploy its preferred wireless solution. But the thought of achieving business priorities at the possible cost of public safety bothered the 134 legislators who signed a petition sent to the PSC.

“When outside plant is inadequately maintained, consumers’ safety is jeopardized because their dial tones may not function when they need to reach emergency services,” the petition explained.

Brookhaven town supervisor Edward P. Romaine held his own news conference at the Davis Park Ferry Terminal in Patchogue last week. He worried that Verizon was attempting to get its foot in the door with Voice Link, and will use any approval to quickly expand it as a “sole service option” elsewhere.

“Our concern isn’t only for Fire Island,” Romaine said. “Our concern is while they’re impacting a few communities in Fire Island, this . . . will spread to all of Fire Island and possibly to the main island.”

http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/CBS This Morning No more landlines Verizon wont fix storm damaged wires 7-19-13.flv

CBS’ This Morning covered Verizon’s plans to drop landline service in Mantoloking, N.J., on an off shore barrier island. Residents really don’t want Voice Link as the replacement, but at least they have an alternative. Unlike on Fire Island, Mantoloking is served by a cable company – Comcast. (3 minutes)

Currently there are 4 comments on this Article:

  1. Anne says:

    It is true that Mantoloking has a Comcast alternative to Voice Link. HOWEVER, Comcast phone has many of the same issues as Voice Link, including the need for backup power in the event of an electric outage. The Chicago Tribune had a scary article last week about the hacking of VOIP and how hackers are taking down phone service. For these reasons, Comcast phone is not a satisfactory alternative.

  2. James Cieloha says:

    Every Verizon customer in New York should be ashamed of Verizon for choosing to abandoned wireline service in favor of the Voice Link wireless service in New York very severely.

    This is an excuse for Lowell McAdam and Fran Shammo with Verizon wanting to try 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 Morris Levy’s when he was part of Roulette Records, 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 jets, luxurious cars, luxurious furs, luxurious jewelry, join luxurious clubs, 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.

    This is an excuse for Verizon 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 with the force of demanding it’s customers to live without wireline phone service forever.

    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.

    This is an excuse for Lowell McAdam and Fran Shammo with Verizon wanting to be too big being way too busy trying to act the Baauer’s, the PSY’s, the Carly Rae Jepsen’s, the Tay Allyn’s, the Nicole Westbrook’s, the Rebecca Black’s, the Double Take’s, and the Guns N Roses Axl Rose as well as trying to be the Conrad Murray’s, 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 Alfonzo Dennard’s, the Jeremy Dobbe’s, the Jeffrey Ireland’s, the Amanda Bynes’s and the Lindsay Lohan’s as the drunk and the drug abusers, the Rodney Dangerfield’s, the John Belushi’s, and the Chris Farley’s as the comedians, (all real life people) 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 Mayor Quimby’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, (all fictional characters) of the television, telephone and internet broadband industry of preferring to make it’s customers be forced to have Voice Link wireless service in New York.

    This is an excuse for Lowell McAdam and Fran Shammo with Verizon trying to turn into the 1919 Chicago White Sox’s baseball team and the Southern Methodist University football team 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 New York by the use of extortion. I urge all the Verizon customers in New York 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 New York 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.

    Wireline phone and internet is useful for web users to look at for news and weather reports as well as for important emergencies. I feel that all of the fat cat politicians and the fat cat phone and internet providers want to see wireline service to go away and force all of the wireline customers to pay up a lot more money for the right to keep phone and internet service so all of the fat cat politicians and the fat phone and internet providers can have carefree lavish spending to fully support their endless greedy lavish lifestyles for their own political gain by way of block booking and extortion is so very shameful and so very disgraceful in my own personal opinion and theory. I feel that all of the fat cat phone and internet providers and the fat cat politicians have never learned from various scandals happening in the past. Have those fat cat phone and internet providers and fat cat politicians learned from the Paramount Pictures practice of block booking with theatrical theatres of the 1940’s, No, the General Tire/RKO General broadcasting license scandal of the 1960’s and the 1970’s, No, the Southern Methodist University football team scandal of the 1980’s, No. These are examples of what I feel that all of the fat cat phone and internet providers and the fat cat politicians are trying to do to attack wireline phone and internet service in the United States Of America in a few years into the future.

    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 New York.

    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 New York.

    Verizon will make and force all the hospitals, libraries, schools, first dispatchers and responders, and even law enforcements to suffer by permanently cutting off wireline voices service to them forever.

  3. BobInPeoria says:

    The public safety officials and other govt officials should jointly demand that Verizon “future proof” by installing fiber in all their copper POTS areas.

  4. Travis says:

    If they don’t want to provided copper phone service I’m ok with that. As an alternative they could provide high speed symmetrical uncapped, unfiltered gigabit internet with an optional robust voip phone solution…

    In all seriousness they should allow some other isp to come in and take over the verizon region that includes fire island. This would be a wonderful time to have google prove that high speed internet across the US is possible. Let them come in and take over some of verizon’s service contracts in the profitable (and not profitable) service areas. If Verizon wants to get out of wired service so bad, then kick them out and hand the infrastructure to someone up to the job.

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