Verizon defends honor in Wilmington FiOS talks

Wilmington's home town newspaper and Verizon have squared off on Verizon's FiOS negotiation tactics.

A December 1 editorial in the News Journal accused Verizon of either wanting to "crash the deal or arrogantly strong-arm the city into a franchise agreement that city leaders are convinced won't serve all residents fairly." Apparently Verizon doesn't want to comply with FCC standards to respond to outages within four hours, won't stand behind promises if it transfers the franchise to another company, and won't pay $1,000 per day in penalties if it doesn't meet a promised five-year build out of the system to the entire city.

William Allen, President of Verizon Delaware, responds in a December 8 letter to the editor, citing the company's willingness to make a major investment into Wilmington, agreements to franchise fees and customer service standards, support for government TV channels, and a guarantee that service will be delivered to all neighborhoods in five years.

Instead, Allen says that after eight months of negotiating a new agreement, new demands put on the table "seriously threaten" the chances of city council approval and jeopardize chances of cable choice coming to Wilmington "any time soon."

We would like to stop here and wonder out loud if city officials in Philadelphia and Wilmington have compared notes recently.  Would Verizon abandon both Philadelphia and Wilmington if it doesn't get swift approval on its terms?

For more:
- Wilmington DE newspaper says Verizon is pushy. Editorial.
- Verizon defends its honor in Wilmington. Letter.

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