Mayor de Blasio’s administration issued an audit today calling Verizon’s plan to rollout high-speed FiOS internet and cable service to all New York households by 2014 a failure, citing certain residential blocks that still have no FiOS capability despite the company’s citywide fiberoptic network, reports the Wall Street Journal.
In its defense, Verizon points to New York’s recent struggles with extreme weather events as one of the many causes for these difficulties. Crain’s New York Business reported last year that the “telecommunications giant cites 2012’s Superstorm Sandy—which forced it to replace much of its downtown copper infrastructure with fiber—and Hurricane Irene in 2011, as well as a work stoppage that year,” for missing a crucial 2014 deadline.
Additionally, Verizon blames hesitance on behalf of city landlords for the delayed nature of their plans. The provider claims many property owners haven’t been inclined to let work crews excavate city streets and dig through their backyards to install cables. In June 2014, Verizon “filed petitions with state regulators alleging that owners of 219 buildings in the five boroughs housing 26,000 apartments have prevented crews from coming in to wire the premises,” according to the New York World.
But there are two sides to this story. Reuters reports that today’s audit notes that “through numerous consumer complaints… Verizon had denied orders from certain households,” across the city in 2014. Additional reports also claim the latent rollout has to do with Verizon’s failure to negotiate a health contract with its workers.
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