Common Cause wants Verizon FiOS installations stopped

Consumer watchdog Common Cause and three other advocacy groups want New York's Public Service Commission to temporarily freeze Verizon's much ballyhooed fiber optic rollout in New York City until safety concerns about the network's installation are resolved.

A week ago Verizon agreed to conduct safety inspections of other FiOS installations in the state completed prior to Aug. 1 after inspectors found a "high proportion" of the systems incorrectly grounded or bonded. Verizon contends its installations are safe and says the new technology naturally will raise issues on installation procedures.

The state OK'd Verizon's franchise deal with New York City last month, saying it was a "sure-fire win for consumers."

Common Cause, meanwhile, contends Verizon is being allowed to continue its installations throughout the state and in New York City, creating additional potential hazards.

"Verizon should not be permitted to benefit from its creation of a safety hazard," Common Cause said in a petition it filed.

"We believe this petition is without merit," Verizon spokesman John Bonomo told the Albany Times-Union. "This has been filed by a group that has stood in the way of progress and opposed our entry into the NYC market every step of the way."

At least one PSC commissioner agrees the installations should have more oversight.

Patricia Acampora, voted against granting Verizon the franchise specifically over the FiOS installation issue. "Verizon should remedy this problem before moving forward. Competition is important to all New Yorkers, but at what price?"

For more:
- Read the Times-Union story

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