New York City Council to hold hearing on Verizon's FiOS progress

The New York City Council will hold an oversight hearing Oct. 14 to determine whether Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has met its obligation to the city as part of its franchise agreement which said that Verizon would outfit the city with FiOS by 2014.  The hearing will feature speakers from the Committee on Technology, the Committee on Oversight and Investigations, the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises as well as Verizon representatives and advocacy groups.

Leading up to today's hearing the Communications Workers of America have distributed TV ads slamming Verizon and its FiOS deployment in New York City in an effort to put more pressure on the carrier. The CWA workers say that Verizon has refused to repair its copper infrastructure and is instead referring customers to its VoiceLink service.  Verizon has said it is not abandoning its copper infrastructure.

In June, an audit conducted by the New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications found that Verizon failed to deliver on its promise to provide fiber-optic service for television and broadband to anyone who wants it by 2014.

Verizon was quick to dismiss the audit, noting that it was based upon erroneous information and incorrect interpretations of the company's franchise deal that was signed with the city in 2008, which allowed it to deploy FiOS throughout the city.

Following the audit, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio started requiring city hall to approve any business local agencies do with Verizon. The measure was intended to get Verizon to fulfill its goal to wire the city with FiOS fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) service.

Under the terms of the agreement, Verizon agreed to pass all 3 million homes in New York City by the end of 2014, an obligation that the telco said it has met.

For more:
- see this CED article
- see this Broadcasting & Cable article

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