New York City has filed a lawsuit against Verizon, claiming that the carrier has failed to provide its fiber-based FiOS service to the entire city. Verizon, which was supposed to complete the project by 2014, says that it has lived up to its obligations and that 2.2 million households out of a total of 3.1 million currently have access to the service, meaning that 1 million households do not.
The lawsuit filed claims that Verizon failed to live up to its obligations, pointing to a point in the 2008 agreement that Verizon’s service must “pass all households.”
This build-out required Verizon to install fiber optic cable—in underground conduit, along above-ground utility poles, or otherwise—in front of (or behind) each residential building.
New York’s complaint, which is being taken to the New York Supreme Court, even points to a public statement made by Verizon in 2008, which said its service “will have to be run past all of the residence locations in the city.” The complaint makes it clear that the city does not believe it has lived up to this.
Verizon has failed in many instances—believed to number at least in the tens of thousands—to timely complete installations as requested by potential subscribers, leaving such New Yorkers without the desired television service. Indeed, Verizon has failed even to accept many New Yorkers’ requests for FiOS service, although the agreement requires it to do so.
Verizon disputes the claim, saying that it has lived up to its end of the agreement, claiming that landlords and city officials have been blocking their access.
Mayor [Bill] de Blasio should read our agreement with the city. Then he could clearly conclude—as others have before him—that we have lived up to our obligation 100 percent. We’d appreciate his support in getting access to buildings where landlords resist allowing us to build fiber to people’s homes.
As for Mayor Bill de Blasio, he stuck to the basic logic that 1 million households are still without a fiber service.
Verizon promised that every household in the city would have access to its fiber-optic FiOS service by 2014. It’s 2017 and we’re done waiting. No corporation—no matter how large or powerful—can break a promise to New Yorkers and get away with it.
In addition to arguing over the completion of the network and Verizon being unable to access certain buildings, the two have also been at odds over the definition of the word “pass.” The lawsuit was filed yesterday, March 13.