In a big victory for New York consumers, the Communications Workers of America has reached a settlement with Verizon that will require the company to repair 54 central offices across the state, replace bad cable, defective equipment, faulty back-up batteries, and to take down 64,000 double telephone poles. The agreement also includes increased broadband buildout to major apartment buildings in New York City and more than 30,000 homes across the state.
The settlement is the result of a CWA campaign to pressure the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) to require Verizon to upgrade and repair the legacy telephone network and to expand consumer access to broadband. In 2015, CWA, 20 allied organizations, and 70 legislators filed a request for an investigation, providing substantial documentation of Verizon’s failure to maintain its copper network. In April 2016, the PSC opened a formal proceeding with extensive discovery and evidence collection. CWA and Verizon agreed to a settlement, which has been endorsed by the PSC staff. The PSC must approve the final settlement.
CWA reached a similar settlement in Pennsylvania last year. That settlement required the company to repair and replace bad cable, defective equipment, faulty back-up batteries, and to take down 15,000 double telephone poles.
CWA reaches favorable settlement in Verizon copper network case before PA PUC (Speed Matters, June 2, 2017)