Verizon is defending a protest to an FCC request that the telco should be allowed to notify wholesale and retail customers of copper retirement plans by providing them an electronic hyperlink instead of a paper copy.
In December, Verizon petitioned the FCC to clarify its copper retirement notification requirements by confirming that telcos can provide interconnection partners and local public utility commissions a paper copy of the notice and a hyperlink to a searchable online list of addresses or locations where copper is to be retired in lieu of a paper copy of the address list.
Cohen, Dippell and Everist (CDE), a Washington, D.C., telecom and engineering firm, raised concerns that the rise in cyberattacks could put electronic notifications of copper retirement in danger.
“This firm and I as an individual have a long and continuous association with Verizon and if and when Verizon makes a decision for copper retirement it should do it at the minimum by mail to that individual,” said Donald Everist, President and Secretary of CDE, in an FCC filing (PDF). “If Verizon wishes to complement the notice of copper by other modern communication venues also with the notice by mail, then Verizon is free to do so.”
Everist added that “the hacking and continued mischief should foreclose Verizon from being able to pick and choose how it should notify its customers at variance with the existing requirement in Section 51.332 of the FCC rules.”
Verizon countered in its response (PDF) that CDE’s objection “misunderstands” the telco’s petition and that telco has not been received any other protests from a wholesale carrier customer or state regulator.
The service said that it will offer “an electronic, searchable list of locations in lieu of an inefficient and cumbersome paper list,” adding that it would provide “a paper copy of the address list to any recipient who requests one.”
One of Verizon’s September 2016 copper retirement notices contained more than 400 pages of hard-copy lists of addresses, for example.