As criticism mounts over Verizon's move to replace its copper-based voice lines with its new Voice Link service in areas of New York and New Jersey impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the carrier went to work explaining the logic behind its actions.
The New York Public Service Commission went ahead with granting Verizon "limited approval" to replace Hurricane Sandy-damaged wireline voice networks with its VoiceLink wireless service on Fire Island, one of a few areas in New York and New Jersey where Verizon said repairs to the PSTN will be too expensive or difficult.
Verizon will offer only wireless-based services in remote areas such as Fire Island, N.Y., and parts of New Jersey, plans that are drawing fire from the CWA and IBEW unions as well as local residents. The move is part of the carrier's plan to do away with its copper network in areas of the Northeast ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Cablevision lost 50,000 video, 10,000 voice and 5,000 high-speed Internet subscribers in the fourth quarter, with the MSO blaming the subscriber losses and a 44 percent drop in cash flow on the impact of Hurricane Sandy.
The FCC conducted a pair of hearings Tuesday in New York City and Hoboken, N.J., to assess how communications networks failed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy last fall and what should be done to prevent future network disruptions following severe storms.
Time Warner Cable Chief Security Officer Brian Allen is the only cable MSO executive scheduled to testify at a hearing the FCC will hold in New York on Tuesday that is focused on how communications networks handled the impact of Superstorm Sandy.
The resistance to Verizon's replacement of copper infrastructure with fiber by six NYC landlords, and pushback by some subscribers, isn't entirely surprising. But the move to a fiber-based infrastructure is an important step forward.
Verizon is motivated to update all of the copper wiring that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy to FiOS, but that's not enough to convince landlords in six New York City apartment buildings to let them install fiber.
Optical Communications Group, a competitive fiber provider, on Tuesday announced that its fiber services are available in 50 new buildings in Lower Manhattan.
Hurricane Sandy's impact on the Northeastern seaboard brought down numerous commercial cell sites and highlighted a glaring flaw in plans for the nationwide public-safety mobile broadband network.