Verizon to shutter 4 interstate DS0 voice services, plans to migrate more customers to fiber-based options

fiber optical (Pixabay)
Verizon is looking to rid itself of more of its legacy wireline voice service past, asking the FCC for permission to grandfather and discontinue four legacy interstate DS0 services in multiple New York wire centers.

Verizon is looking to rid itself of more of its legacy wireline voice service past, asking the FCC for permission to grandfather and discontinue four legacy interstate DS0 services in multiple New York wire centers.

These four legacy interstate special access services include: Voice Grade Service, WATS Access Line Service, Digital Data Service (“DDS”), and DIGIPATH Digital Service II.

Citing what it says a decreased demand for these offerings, Verizon plans to grandfather these services on or after December 15, 2017, preventing new customers from ordering them.

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“At that time, no new customers will be added but existing customers will be permitted to continue to submit orders for moves, adds, and changes,” Verizon said in an FCC filing (PDF).

While existing customers may continue to submit orders for moves, adds or changes when it grandfathers the services, Verizon plans to stop permitting or accepting orders for moves, adds, or changes on or after July 1, 2018, and to discontinue the services on or after September 2, 2019 in specified New York wiring centers.

Verizon said that this group of legacy interstate special access services no longer serves a substantial need for a large portion of its customer base.

“These services are outdated legacy voice grade and data transmission services that have largely fallen out of favor as customers have chosen new options and technologies,” Verizon said.

New alternatives

In the affected areas of its New York market, Verizon has about 10 wholesale customers and approximately 150 retail customers on these services in the affected areas.

In place of these services, Verizon offers retail business and wholesale carrier customers an array of new services that serve the same functions.

Alternative wholesale products and services include Wholesale Advantage or Resale, Fiber to the Internet Service, Transparent LAN Service (TLS), Private Internet Protocol Service, and DS1 Service. The telco’s alternative retail products and services include fiber-based voice services, Fios Internet, Switched Ethernet Service, Private Internet Protocol Service, DS1 services, machine-to-machine services, and LTE.

Verizon said it “will work with affected customers to find suitable alternative solutions.”

Consumer transition continues

Verizon is making a similar transition on with its consumer POTS customers. In recent years, Verizon has been making an effort to migrate what it calls “chronic” copper customers, which are those that have multiple service calls, to a fiber-based connection.

The service provider noted that a growing number of its customers have either decided to migrate to a fiber-based service like Fios or a competitor’s service, while others are in the process of transitioning to new services.

As part of this transition, the service provider said it is “working closely with our customers receiving service over copper facilities to discuss their existing services and their needs going forward.”

Any POTS customer transitioned to a fiber-based connection will be able to get the same underlying features and functionalities they have today at the same or a lower price. Depending on the market, customers that purchase copper-based DSL internet services will be able to get access to higher speeds of 50 Mbps to 1 Gbps.

Similar to the way it has transitioned POTS-only voice customers in other markets to a fiber-based Fios platform, Verizon said that for most customers “there has been a like-for-like, fiber-based service available for them, making this transition straightforward.”

Existing DS1 level service customers will also be able to purchase similar fiber-based services.