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Verizon Attempts a Stealth Plan for Shutting the Copper to over 50,000 in Rockaways, New York City without Proper Notice or Hearings.

New Networks Requests the FCC Halt this Section 251 Short Term Wireline Network Change and Start Investigations of Verizon New York’s (VNY) Actions.[3]

 

RE:     WIRELINE COMPETITION BUREAU SHORT TERM NETWORK CHANGE NOTIFICATION FILED BY VERIZON NEW YORK INC.

 

Verizon’s Stealth Plan for ‘Shutting Off the Copper’ in New York City and Locations in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania Has Started

Fact: This Section 251 notification is part of Verizon Communications’ larger plan; Verizon New York is a wholly owned subsidiary. In June 2012, Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s CEO stated that ‘killing the copper’ was a “pot of gold”.[5]

“But the vision that I have is we are going into the copper plant areas, and every place we have FiOS, we are going to kill the copper. We are going to just take it out of service, and we are going to move those services onto FiOS. We have got parallel networks in way too many places now, so that is a pot of gold in my view.” (Emphasis added)

SUMMARY: Verizon New York has filed with the FCC to close the copper wires in its networks and replace it with fiber optics at the Bell Harbor, Queens, ‘central office’, which is a building that aggregates lines in a community. After an investigation, our experts found that the plan will impact about 50,000 customers in the Rockaways, Queens, New York City.

Verizon has filed this as a notification using Section 251 of the Telecom Act and this process is used for simple, small changes in technology in the networks as it is rubber-stamped and approved with no data, analysis or any announcements. Verizon New York has decided to use this administrative procedure which we believe is not appropriate because of the magnitude of the changes and impacts, and this below-the-radar approach will be used everywhere Verizon has FiOS, as Verizon has already filed to do the same thing in Ocean View, Virginia.

However, this issue is tied to a new report by Public Utility Law Project, written by New Networks, which shows that residential and business POTS, (Plain Old Telephone Service) customers have had major rate increases for ‘massive deployment of fiber optics’, (among other reasons) — 84% since 2006 on basic service, as well as increases on every ancillary service. And in Verizon’s New York City’s cable franchise, Verizon has claimed that it is creating a “FTTP” (Fiber-to-the-Premises) network classified as a ‘Title II’, common carriage, telecommunication service, meaning that it should be part of the state utility. This is compared to FiOS, which is a brand of Verizon’s cable, internet and broadband service, which are classified as “Title I”,   “information services” and has few obligations as compared to telecommunications, or “Title VI”, a cable service.

This was done, it appears, so that most of the construction expenses could be charged to utility customers, while the revenues go into a different financial bucket, benefiting Verizon Corporate. It is illegal to charge POTS customers for cable, internet and broadband services. Also, most of the ‘rights-of-way’ are for the utility, not for an Information service.

Is the construction in the Rockaways for the utility, or FIOS, paid for by investors, or POTS customers? Also, there is no data about the impacts, number of customers, number of current copper-based lines in service – nothing was filed by Verizon NY.

UPDATE: On May 28th, 2014, Verizon has filed claiming that the conversion is mostly done and they have 15,000 customers. Verizon’s response fails to address whether the networks are Title II, or claims that they have the right to do these changes as Section 251 notifications.Verizon’s Response to Our Filing and NASUCA

READ OUR FILING:  Files Calling for a Halt to this Process

[1] http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-326960A1.docx

[2] http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-326958A1.docx

[3] There are two notifications — Report No. NCD-2353 and NCD-2351, but our primary concern is with any changes to shut off the copper networks and we will refer to them as one group.

[4] There are two notifications — Report No. NCD-2353 and NCD-2351, but our primary concern is with any changes to shut off the copper networks and we will refer to them as one group.

[5] http://www.newnetworks.com/VerizonKillCopperjune2121012.pdf

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