Common Cause New York is dedicated to the principle of universal telecommunications service. We work to provide active oversight, and hold big telecom companies accountable to serve all customers fairly. Nobody wants to be held hostage by telecommunications monopolies. If customers speak out, we can improve the choices and services that everyone has.
In 2008, Verizon promised to wire all of New York City with high-speed optical fiber cable and make FiOS available to any New Yorker who wants it. Expecting that increased competition would both improve telecom services and bring down prices, NYC gave FiOS a franchise in exchange for Verizon’s obligation to finish building out optical fiber throughout the city by mid-2014.
An audit by the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications tconfirmed what residents and some businesses have experienced, that Verizon has failed to live up to its obligations under its franchise agreement. Under the agreement, a complete fiber optic buildout of the entire city was supposed to have been accomplished by November 2014.
This case has broad implications, not only for the state of telecommunications regulation in New York City and New York State, but for the ability of residents in NYC to equitably access reliable high speed internet service. Such services have become a necessity to full participation in modern society, government, and our economy. Because of this, Common Cause New York and Consumer’s Union formed a coalition, Waiting4FiOS, and website www.waiting4fios.nyc to collect stories and launch a petition urging Verizon to complete the buildout of FiOS under the terms of its franchise agreement with NYC.