New Jersey presses Verizon about wireline voice service issues, broadband commitment

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Verizon (NYSE: VZ), like its other large ILEC counterparts AT&T (NYSE: T) and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) continues to see its core voice service revenue decline, but the state's Board of Public Utilities in its New Jersey market are questioning their ability to maintain the quality of PSTN voice service.

Although its landline voice service base has declined from a high of 6.7 million in 2000 to less than 2.5 million in 2012, the board wants to know why it continues to see a high volume of complaints about its PSTN service.

In addition to the PSTN issues, the board wants to know why it has not fulfilled its promise to deliver DSL service to 50,000 residential customers in the state.

Stefanie Brand, Director of the Division of Rate Counsel, believes the reasons why these issues on its copper network have emerged is because Verizon has become too distracted by expanding FiOS in the markets it has already built out and of course wireless services.  

"I don't think Verizon [New Jersey] has made any secret they don't want to keep up the [landline] system,'' Stefanie Brand, director of the Division of Rate Counsel, told NJ Spotlight. "It's an expense for them. They are focused on wireless and their FiOS systems."

Lowell McAdam, Verizon CEO and chairman and the former president of Verizon Wireless, said last week that they would like to launch a new streaming video service that its FiOS, Verizon Wireless and cable partner customers could use on their tablet and smartphone wireless devices. Of course, the launch of this new service hinges on whether its $3.9 billion spectrum and marketing deal with Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and other cable operators gets government approval.

Verizon's pending spectrum purchase, not surprisingly, is drawing fire from a number of community groups in the Northeast that believe if the deal goes through it will ensure they'll never get FiOS service.

For more:
- see this NYConvergence article

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