Verizon Asks Virginia Not To Hold It To High Standards

According to Verizon, being held to a high standard is unfair.

Verizon will get a chance at the end of September to argue to Virginia state regulators that the state’s dominant phone company should be held to a lower standard for restoring lost phone service.

The staff at the Virginia State Corporation Commission proposed that the company should be fined for routinely failing to restore service within a day. Verizon is expected to meet this standard 80 percent of the time.

On the same day the state said the company should be fined, Verizon filed a request to lower that standard. Verizon says it is an unfair and arbitrary standard that aren’t applied to its competitors in the increasingly competitive telecommunications market.

You know, it probably isn’t “fair,” but then again, life isn’t fair.

To argue that a 80% service standard is “arbitrary” is just silly. Nothing could be more arbitrary the time it takes Verizon to show up to fix your phone service.

Verizon to plead case for lower service standard [Daily Press]
(Photo:IanPhillipMiller)

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  1. The_Shadow says:

    That “restoring service with 24 hours, 80% of the time” seems a rather generous goal on the Commonwealth’s part.

    Not that other phone service providers shouldn’t be held to the same standard, Verizon would be better off petitioning for that to happen.

  2. badlydrawnjeff says:

    1) Why is the Virginia government even getting its nose in this to begin with.

    2) Of course other carriers should be held to the same standard. How can anyone argue otherwise?

  3. ChrisC1234 says:

    @badlydrawnjeff: And which other landline monopoly carriers would you be referring to?

  4. QuantumRiff says:

    Do their competitors get subsidies from the local 911 district to ensure that the lines are back up quickly? Do the competitors get a statewide monopoly on offering their service, and able to dig up ground to install it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    @badlydrawnjeff: Because at one time, governments chartered corporations for specific purposes (i.e. provide mass telecommunications service), held them to standards, could sanction them for failing to meet those standards, and even revoke their corporate charter, dissolving the corporation.

    This is what I don’t get, libertarian ‘free-market’ capitalists make a boogey man out of the government and government ‘encroachment’ onto the rights of ‘free enterprise’ , when 200 years ago, at the dawn of classic liberalism, corporations didn’t have rights, couldn’t sue in court, and were chartered exclusively by the government for specific purposes. The first corporations were what were refer to as authorities today, like highway or hospital authorities.

    Libertarianism, yes, lays out a very well articulated plan to roll back government encroachment on our rights and freedoms. But is silent on the abuses of multinational conglomerates, which is the result of neoliberalism gone amok.

  6. I like it. Can Maryland apply the same thing? Also I want a minimum speed applicable for Broadband in maryland (Cough 10 down, 5 up… Yes even you Comcast). That’ll be a better standard. I also want a rate cap and a price cap meaning that no matter how you try and juke your stats, your price can never go above say… $50. A guy can dream, right?

  7. badlydrawnjeff says:

    I didn’t think you had to be a libertarian to wonder about the role of government or question the fairness of a situation. How sad.

  8. shiwsup says:

    @badlydrawnjeff: Government creates the environment within which an economy operates. Generally our government prefers to construct an environment where companies compete for our services, because typically we benefit from that competition. When a natural monopoly exists, we ask the government instead to regulate it to ensure that we don’t get completely screwed.

  9. rhombopteryx says:

    @badlydrawnjeff:

    “Of course other carriers should be held to the same standard. How can anyone argue otherwise? “

    A totally fair point, and intuitively very obvious, no?
    The thing is, a significant portion of Virginia phone companies use a mix of their own lines and Verizon lines, so sometimes when service goes out it’s on the Verizon portion of the line – which means the competitor has to call Verizon and wait (and wait) for them. Maybe the best thing is to make the same standard for everyone on their portions of the lines.

  10. jamar0303 says:

    This is the kind of thing that annoys me about Verizon. They always want to hold back whenever possible, whether it be reliability (I remember something about a Verizon tech causing a fire?) or technology. I mean, come on- if they’re going to deploy fiber, at least they can give 100M both ways like Japan has. It’s certainly not a matter of covering everyone, it’s a matter of giving the places you cover better service. Honestly- I wish Verizon had to lease out fiber to other providers, not just the copper. It works for Japan, which has no less than 7 different service providers to choose from for a given area.

    Even Japan has limits though. Apparently, going by a provider’s service page, you can only get 100M service both ways if you live on the 3rd floor or below of an apartment building, or in a house. For those living in taller floors of high-rise apartments, they’re limited to 100/40 or 57/33, and most intriguing, 30Mb both ways over 802.11a if you so choose for $40/month, first 3 months free with 12-month contract.

  11. Brad2723 says:

    I’m still glad I’m no longer a Verizon customer.

  12. theblackdog says:

    I hope Maryland files for a standard like that, I don’t want to wait forever to get my DSL.