Verizon (NYSE: VZ) told the New York Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions in a hearing this week that it invested over $1.8 billion in the state's wireline and wireless networks in 2014, refuting criticism that it has not lived up to its buildout commitments.
The telco said that it is committed to building out new wireline and wireless services in the state. On the wireline side, Verizon said it built out its FiOS FTTH service to over 4 million New York state homes and businesses, for example.
FiOS was once again the revenue star for Verizon's wireline results in the fourth quarter. Driven by the addition of 99,000 new FiOS Internet connections and 20,000 new FiOS video connections, Verizon's wireline revenues were $4.1 billion, up 2.6 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2014. However, the telco's FiOS Internet additions were down from the 145,000 subscribers it added in the same period a year ago, suggesting that it is saturating its existing markets.
During the hearing, Verizon encouraged the state to adopt regulatory reforms that it said would drive new technology investments, particularly in areas where consumers and businesses can chose from a host of telcos and cable operators for service. It also claimed that customer complaint rates "are at their lowest levels in recent years and continue to improve."
The company's claims are in response to a host of critics who claim the telco has been turning its back on its traditional copper-based wireline network while refusing to build out FiOS in new areas of the state.
In October 2015, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent letters to executives at Verizon, Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) to get an understanding if these providers charged consumers for speeds slower than what they advertised. One of the key issues related to the speed problem stems from the interconnection agreements that Verizon has in place with long-haul Internet transit providers such as Cogent and Level 3.
Earlier, Schneiderman wrote a letter to the NYPSC asking the state regulator to investigate Verizon and look at how the deregulation of the New York telecom market is impacting businesses and consumers.
Meanwhile, an audit conducted by 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 them by 2014.
Verizon refuted the audit saying 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.
More recently, a group of elected officials and residents in the Co-Op City development of New York's Bronx borough announced they will hold a rally today in a plea to get the telco to offer FiOS internet, phone and television.
Co-Op City isn't the only city that's called on Verizon to extend FTTH service to their community.
A group of 14 city mayors on the East Coast asked Verizon to expand its FiOS FTTH network into more areas that have limited access to high speed services. However, Verizon has been adamant that it has no plans to extend FiOS into any new areas outside of those communities where it has established a franchise agreement to deliver service.
- see the release
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