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Loud crowd at Fire Island Verizon hearing

27 Aug, 2013

Some 175 Fire Island, New York residents filled a hearing of the state Public Service Commission, held in Ocean Beach. The problem? Verizon, despite continued opposition from inhabitants, wants to replace the storm-damaged landline system with a costlier and more limited wireless Voice Link scheme.

Fire Islanders sounded off. According to the Long Island paper, Newsday, “About 40 of the roughly 175 in attendance testified during the four-hour hearing, describing problems with dropped calls, poor sound quality and difficulty receiving and making calls.”

In addition to those problems, and deep concern with Voice Link’s 911 and other emergency functions, there’s a matter of cost. A Voice Link-only system means much more expensive broadband access.

“Bruce Minoff, 76, a retired private investigator who spends summers in Dunewood and winters in Florida said before the hearing that his combined phone and Internet bill had gone from about $150 a month to $260 after losing DSL. ‘It's mainly the Internet that's so much more,’ he said.”

Fire Island residents sound off on Verizon phone service (Newsday, Aug. 24, 2013)

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