Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) move to enhance its wireless spectrum holdings by purchasing assets from Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and other cable operators is now facing opposition from five cities that argue the sale will exclude them from getting FiOS service.
Community groups in Boston, Baltimore, and three cities in New York--Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo--have petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to block the sale of the wireless spectrum from the cable operators to the telco. The deal, said Albany Common Council President Carolyn McLaughlin, "is not in the best interest of those who need to get and stay connected the most and is "a step backwards in bridging the digital divide."
Curt Anderson, chair of the Baltimore City Delegation to the Maryland House of Delegates, expressed similar outrage on the agreement the telco made.
"Under this transaction, Baltimore will never get a fiber-optic network, and the city will be at a disadvantage," he said. "The direct job loss will be the hundreds of technicians that would be employed building, installing and maintaining FiOS in the area. The indirect costs of this deal are even higher: the lack of competition in telecommunications will raise prices and reduce service quality."
Apart from its recent expansion in Medford, Mass., Verizon has publicly stated that its FiOS Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network buildout is complete.
Lowell McAdam, Verizon's Chairman and CEO, said that the focus for FiOS will be on increasing the penetration in existing markets.
- Multichannel News has this article
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