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Verizon Officially Ends Request to Make Voice Link Sole Landline Replacement in Parts of N.Y.

Phillip Dampier September 11, 2013 Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't, Rural Broadband, Verizon, Wireless Broadband 2 Comments

Verizon-logoVerizon Communications notified the New York Public Service Commission late Tuesday it was abandoning a request to replace damaged landlines anywhere in the state where the company’s facilities were substantially destroyed with a wireless service called Voice Link.

Verizon’s original tariff, if approved, would have allowed the company to drop landline service in areas of New York where it decided it was impractical to repair or replace heavily damaged wired infrastructure. Customers in these areas would no longer be able to obtain wired landline service or DSL broadband. Instead, under the original tariff request, Verizon would offer customers Voice Link as its sole service offering, providing voice-only service over existing telephones, assuming a good signal was available from a nearby Verizon Wireless cell tower.

Yesterday, Stop the Cap! reported a well-placed source in Albany indicated Verizon was unlikely to win approval of its tariff request after a summer of real-world experiences with Voice Link service on Fire Island. Customers overwhelmingly rejected the service, complaining about dropped and missed calls, poor voice quality, and the lack of an affordable broadband option. Yesterday, Verizon separately announced it was reversing an earlier decision and would now install its fiber network FiOS on Fire Island, offering customers the option of keeping Voice Link or switching to FiOS for telephone and/or broadband service.

Accordingly, Verizon today requested the PSC abandon proceedings regarding its request, calling the issue “moot,” and for now will no longer pursue an effort to drop landline service in New York. Verizon will continue to offer Voice Link in the state as an optional service, but will also provide traditional landline and DSL service (where available).

Verizon has not said whether it will continue to pursue regulators for permission to supply Voice Link as its sole service offering in part of New Jersey and Pennsylvania where the company’s landline networks were damaged by last year’s Hurricane Sandy.

 

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Currently there are 2 comments on this Article:

  1. Scott says:

    Sounds like their new strategy is to quietly drop the Fire Island Voice Link service initiative before it gets officially refused, so they can still pursue pushing it elsewhere without the extra baggage and negative service record.

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