Verizon claims NYC landlords are stunting FiOS rollouts

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) may see New York City as one of its key existing FiOS growth markets, but it claims that building owners are not letting the telco's crews install the service, reports The New York World.

This revelation comes at a time when the telco is working to meet a June 30 deadline to extend the fiber to the premises (FTTP)-based service throughout the city.

The service provider has filed petitions with state regulators accusing 219 building owners in five boroughs that include 26,000 apartments of not permitting crews to wire these facilities with service.

Hamdi Nezaj, a Bronx building owner, said that he has blocked crews from installing wiring in more of his buildings due to sloppy installation work.

"They never came back to fix the holes that were drilled, fix the boxes they installed and put molding on their respective wires," he said. 

Verizon faced a similar issue earlier last January when it decided to update all of the copper wiring that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy to FiOS. While FiOS provides higher reliability and better features and speeds, none of those elements were enough to convince landlords in six New York City apartment buildings to let them install fiber. At the time, the landlords claimed that some tenants who that reside in these buildings want to keep their copper-based DSL and PSTN services.

However, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said there are many residents that want the service and are being told it's not available yet.

"We've heard this incessantly from people in neighborhoods all over the city," the mayor said in mid-February. "They don't have the access that's claimed."

According to the franchise agreement Verizon signed with the city in 2008, the service provider has six months to deliver service to any customer that requests FiOS in an area where it has installed fiber.

"Verizon is on pace to meet our obligations called for in the franchise agreement to run an all-fiber network throughout the entire five boroughs," Verizon spokesman John Bonomo told The New York World in an emailed statement. "We will complete the premises passed portion of the FiOS build in 2014, meaning we will have fiber up and down each street and avenue in the entire city, providing meaningful competition that benefits all City residents."

Regardless of the challenges it faces, New York City continues to be one of the largest FiOS markets. Lowell McAdam, CEO and chairman of Verizon, said during the Citi Internet Media & Telecommunications Conference in January that it was getting 30-35 percent penetration in the city's MDUs.

For more:
- The New York World  has this article

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