Sep 12, 2013
The news that Verizon Communications plans to build out fiber optic cable in Fire Island, N.Y., rather than substitute Voice Link wireless technology, is the right decision and welcome news.
"This is a victory for Fire Island residents, and offers a model for the rest of the state," said Chris Shelton, CWA District 1 Vice President.
New York State should implement a moratorium on the Voice Link rollout and require Verizon to either properly maintain its copper landline network or build out the FiOS fiber optic network to the millions of New Yorkers currently bypassed by FiOS who deserve state-of-the-art, reliable internet and phone service, Shelton said.
CWA called on Verizon to expand its investment in fiber optic, high speed broadband, which provides greater capacity for Internet use than wireless systems. That's the only way to ensure that our country has a 21st century broadband infrastructure, one that meets global standards and enables us to compete with the rest of the world.
Hundreds of local and state elected officials, public safety officials, labor activists, residents and small business owners protested Verizon's plans to substitute inadequate Voice Link wireless service for the system in place before Superstorm Sandy. In objections made to the State Public Service Commission and the Federal Communications Commission, residents pointed out that they would face inadequate and unavailable alternative services and increased costs.
Verizon's decision is a big victory for Fire Island consumers who took a stand for the quality services they need, and it's proof that consumers want the world class communications system that fiber optic broadband delivers.