Thirteen northeastern mayors are taking Verizon to task for its lackluster approach to building out FiOS, including mayors from New York, Pittsburgh, and Newark, as well as the democratic candidate for mayor in Philadelphia. In a newly published letter to Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, the mayors complain that Verizon's FiOS's buildout has been slow, current copper networks are under-maintained, and raise concerns about current contract negotiations with the Communications Workers of America union. "Consistently and increasingly, our consumers have complained that FiOS service is not available to them," the letter reads. "We are deeply concerned that you have not acted like a good corporate citizen."
It's the strongest FioS-related rebuke Verizon has faced so far, although Verizon has faced local objections in both New York and several towns in northern New Jersey, where franchise agreements require Verizon to provide FioS access to every property. Nearly a fifth of properties in Jersey City have been exempted from that agreement, and a New York City audit in June found more than 40,000 outstanding building requests. A 2013 audit found 51 percent of New York City households had no access to the FiOS network.
"We are deeply concerned..."
Reached for comment, Verizon dismissed the objections as a political ploy. "There is absolutely no news in this letter," said Verizon spokesperson Rich Young. "In all areas where Verizon has franchises and agreed to deploy FiOS, we have met or surpassed our deployment obligations. Since Verizon started bargaining this year with the CWA, we’ve seen numerous half-baked and inaccurate letters and statements from union leaders regarding Verizon’s FiOS commitments and more. It’s all nonsense."