Verizon New Jersey Cable and Broadband Harms
- Customers paid about $3000-$4000.00 to have a 45 Mbps bi-directional fiber optic service, and the monies continue to be collected as they are ‘built into the rate increases.
- We estimate that over $15 billion dollars was collected from 1993-2013 for an upgrade of the state utility copper networks, commonly called “PSTN”, Public Switched Telephone Service” to an all fiber optic service by the year 2010.
- Did Verizon Commit Fraud? Verizon was required by law to submit annual infrastructure reports to the state to prove that they were on course to give 100% of their customers a fiber optic service in a year by year increase — finished in the year 2010. In 2001, Verizon claimed to have 55% completed and yet FiOS didn’t exist until 2007.
- Most customers never got cable competition or even fast broadband competition as Verizon never showed up.
- A Verizon’s funded think tank claimed that a lack of cable competition cost customers an estimated 15-40% more.
- Verizon claims “In the five plus years since the Board granted Verizon a system-wide franchise, Verizon has invested more than $2 billion to deploy cable television service.” No they didn’t. If they did Verizon’s construction budgets for 2007-2011 would have increased $400 million per year extra for the cable service. The only way this happened was to charge phone customers for the development of the cable service—i.e., cross subsidize the cable service in basic phone rate increases.
- Verizon writes: “Under its system-wide franchise, from 2007 through 2011 Verizon paid almost $62 million in franchise fees Municipalities and the State.” No they didn’t. Verizon passed through a 5% franchise tax that was for by cable subscribers—Verizon probably paid $0.00 or even made money on the deal.
- Economic Harms –Every study Verizon presented about broadband over the last two decades outlined the fabulous economic growth that would accrue because of high speed broadband. Ironically, in 2010, Dennis Bone, former Verizon, New Jersey president quoted a economic study claiming at from 2004-2008 the state had an economic downturn of $70 billion dollars, which Bone claimed was due to people leaving due to high taxes. Verizon should have had the majority of the state completed during those years.