In 2008, Verizon signed a franchise deal with New York City. The agreement stated that Verizon would deploy FiOS to “the entire city by mid-year 2014.” Unfortuately, the city allowed Verizon to have a number of loopholes which guaranteed that Verizon could get out of their agreement, all the while fully receiving all benefits of the deal from the city.
Fast-forward to today and many New York City residents still can’t get FiOS service. Rather than trying to fix the problem by fulfilling the franchise agreement, Verizon is taking to the media to blame landlords for blocking access. Except, as a number of web-sites have found, Verizon’s claims are quite skeptical to say it nicely.
Is there a chance that some landlords are unreasonable? Of course. But Verizon did not simply miss their goal by a few apartment complexes. They missed BADLY with miles and miles of houses not being able to access FiOS service.
In one case, Verizon wrongly identified an ophthalmologist named Tammy Chu as the owner of a building. When Chu received a complaint from Verizon in December 2013, she informed the company that she was not the owner of the building and therefore had no authority to deny or permit any installations inside the structure. Yet two months later, she received another letter from Verizon in the form of a petition for orders of entry, she wrote in a letter to the State Public Service Commission and Verizon. – ArsTechica.com
As Karl Bode has noted on a number of occasions, Verizon never got back to some landlords who simply wanted additional information about construction details. Or instances of Verizon telling the landlords that all tenants had to agree to lock themselves into an exclusive five year deal with Verizon which Verizon claims is a “misunderstanding.”
Verizon most likely saw the large number of bad press that they were getting from the landlord blaming and has since decided to change course. Now, Verizon simply wants everyone to know how difficult it is on them to wire New York City.
Speaking during the 2014 FTTH Conference & Expo’s MDU Panel, Michael Weston, senior executive, Verizon Enhanced Communities for Verizon, noted that Verizon was having to deal several segments of groups when trying to wire an apartment (per FierceWireless).
“Getting these property owners, property managers–and even in some large cities like New York City property superintendents–on your side is a big deal,” Weston said. “If you really succeed even getting them to buy your product on behalf of their residents is one way you can help yourself in succeeding.” – FierceWireless
He also noted that Verizon had filed petitions with state regulators accusing 219 building owners in five boroughs of not permitting crews to wire these facilities with service. Also brought up was the difficulties Verizon faces when they have to
deal with serve low income, non-english-speaking people who most likely did not watch the same programming as other groups of people in the city.