Verizon is seeking to shed more of its legacy DSO services across parts of seven states, citing a dwindling base of customers who are moving to other fiber-centric options.
Due to the low number of customers that use these services, Verizon said in an FCC filing (PDF) that it will “grandfather these services on or after Jan. 31, 2018, in the specified wire centers.”
At the time of this latest filing, Verizon has about 10 wholesale customers and approximately 67 retail customers for these services in the affected areas.
Upon completing the discontinuance process, Verizon will no longer add new customers for these services. However, existing customers will be permitted to continue to submit orders for moves, adds, and changes.
On or after July 17, 2018, Verizon plans to stop permitting or accepting orders for moves, adds, or changes. Further, the telco will discontinue the services completely on or after December 31, 2018.
Like other service discontinuance notices Verizon has recently made in New York and other regions, the services affected include: Voice Grade Service, WATS Access Line Service, Digital Data Service (DDS), and DIGIPATH Digital Service II.
Voice Grade Service uses dedicated lines to provide voice frequency transmission capability for connecting location-to-location or to the public network, while WATS Access Line Service provides voice frequency transmission capability for toll-free calling in a limited geographic area.
Verizon said that customers will be moved to a fiber-based facility over a “multistage process.”
“Many customers have already made the decision to move either to our fiber-based services or to competitors’ services; others are in the process of transitioning,” Verizon said. “During this transition, we have been working closely with our customers receiving service over copper facilities to discuss their existing services and their needs going forward.”
The transition for these customers that are affected by the shutdown is largely simple since similar services like plain old telephone service (POTS) are available on Verizon’s fiber-based network.
“These POTS customers will continue to receive the same POTS over fiber at the same or better price, and there is no change in the underlying features and functionalities in their service,” Verizon said.
Likewise, customers that purchase copper-based DSL broadband internet will be transitioned to Fios internet with speeds of up to 1 Gbps with comparable pricing. Additionally, customers will also be able to continue to purchase DS1 level services as they do today, which will be carried over the fiber network instead.
The service provider will offer a series of retail and wholesale fiber-based alternative services.
Alternative retail products and services include fiber-based voice services, Fios Internet, Switched Ethernet Service, Private Internet Protocol Service, DS1 services, machine-to-machine services, and LTE. Verizon said it plans to work with affected customers to find what "suitable alternative solutions."
Verizon’s alternative wholesale products and services include Wholesale Advantage or Resale, Fiber to the Internet Service, Transparent LAN Service (TLS), Private Internet Protocol Service and DS1 Service.
After it receives the necessary approvals from the FCC, Verizon said that on or after Jan. 31, 2018, Verizon will stop accepting orders from new customers for Voice Grade Service, WATS Access Line Service, Digital Data Service, and DIGIPATH Digital Service II in the affected wire centers.
At that time, existing customers may continue to submit orders for moves, adds or changes.