New Networks Institute


Survey of ISPs From Massachusetts---- 10/26/00

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 SPECIAL: FCC Data Supports Findings

Letter to Massachusetts Attorney General: Investigate Verizon's Treatment of ISPs and Customers

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 26th, 2000

Verizon's Bay State Networks Are Not Open to Competition.

Survey of ISPs Finds Competition Stifled and Advanced Networks Delayed.

New York City: Results from an survey of Massachusetts Internet Service Providers (ISPs), conducted by New Networks Institute, (NNI) revealed that the telephone networks are not open to ISPs and it is blocking the delivery of advanced networks, including DSL, to the Bay State.

"The Telecom Act of 1996 requires that the Bells' networks to be fully open to competition as a prerequisite for their entrance into long distance services. However, ISPs claim that they are receiving sub-standard services and it is interfering with providing DSL and other web related services to customers, and it is costing these companies millions of dollars in lost revenues and lost clients" stated Bruce Kushnick, Executive Director of New Networks Institute (NNI).

The problems encountered by the ISPs are numerous. They include:

  • "Slamming" ---- Verizon is accused of stealing Internet/Web customers.
  • Verizon misses or doesn't show for scheduled Installations.
  • Verizon can take months for repairs or filling orders.
  • Verizon doesn't give the ISP accurate information of network availability.
  • Predatory Pricing for services -- Verizon overcharges competitors so that they can't compete.

The Chain-of-Pain. While Internet Providers are losing millions of dollars of revenues from the Bell-caused anti-competitive problems, the real losers are the DSL and Internet business and residential customers who can't get the services they want. The chain: the Customer---the ISP--- the competitive local phone company (CLEC) --- are all losers when the Bell doesn't fulfill their obligations.

A Model for the Future? In August of 2000, NNI conducted a study of New York's ISPs. The findings showed that Verizon's services to ISPs in New York are also sub-standard, and have been in serious decline since the Bell was allowed into long distance in January 2000. (New York was the first state to enter Long Distance.) This degradation of services is a clear indication that Verizon is putting the acquisition of Long Distance customers above and beyond making sure that they can offer adequate services to competitors. This study can be found at:

Other Corroborative Massachusetts Data Provided: Information supplied by Verizon to the FCC for its compliance with the conditions of the NYNEX-Bell Atlantic merger shows that there has been a serious decline in some services to competitors since 1997. In Massachusetts, from 1997 through June 2000, Verizon's service to its customers remained mainly unchanged for an installation. However, services supplied to competitors had a 60% decrease. This information, which was supplied by Verizon to the FCC, seems to directly contradict the information supplied by the KPMG study (the study used to determine that the phone networks are open to competitors.) To read this material on the web:

To see the specific installation information pertaining to Massachusetts see:

Using this information, NNI has sent a letter to the Massachusetts Attorney General, and filed Comments with the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) examination of Verizon's request to enter long distance in Massachusetts. NNI has recommended:

  • Immediately open an investigation into the treatment of ISPs and their customers.
  • Reject Verizon's entry into Long Distance.
  • Include ISPs as part of its deliberations for Verizon's entry into Long Distance.
  • Request that the FCC's data from the filed Verizon NYNEX-Bell Atlantic merger be used and compared for their treatment of competitors vs. their own services.

This study is a continuation of New Networks Institute's surveying efforts. A copy of this report, along with links to other related materials can be found at For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Bruce Kushnick 212-777-5418