Verizon balks at extending New Jersey FiOS

Verizon has statewide franchises to deliver wireline service in Virginia and New Jersey. Recently, at a New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) hearing, where its franchise is up for renewal, Verizon claimed that its 2010 decision to cease building out FiOS was within the 2006 franchise requirements.

Presently, the company has extended FiOS to 355 communities, but that still leaves millions of subscribers with no choice for high-speed broadband other than cable.

Robert Speer, president of Local 827 of the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers, told the hearing that building FiOS throughout the state would help both the general economy any the jobs of telecom workers. Further, he said:

“We want to give all residents of New Jersey the opportunity to subscribe to FiOS. In the field, I have witnessed Verizon only partially deploy FiOS in several municipalities. For example, FiOS was installed in many municipalities on ‘Main Street’ but not in other areas. We have witnessed customers chasing down Verizon service trucks requesting service only to be disappointed that their homes were on a street excluded from the FiOS buildout.’’

BPU officials seem inclined to side with Verizon that it has met its requirements and should be granted another seven year franchise. Although no one argued that Verizon should be denied its license, many continue to insist that the company make its premier service available statewide.

New Jersey Towns Tell Verizon They Want Their FiOS, Cite Lack of Coverage (NJ Spotlight, Oct. 4, 2013)

Verizon pressured to expand FiOS in New Jersey (FierceCable, Oct. 4, 2013)