In recent years, the relationship between Verizon and its legacy, copper-wire, landline-using customers in New Jersey has gotten… well, let’s politely call it “contentious.” Residents of the Garden State and the descendant of Ma Bell have found themselves at odds over everything from pricing to fiber rollout to disintegrating connections. So when the state gave those customers a chance to come out and have their say, well, they said a lot.
Tens of thousands of Verizon employees walked off the job this morning, when months of inconclusive contract negotiations between the company and the union representing those workers finally stalled out completely.
Verizon is once again being accused of neglecting its copper-wire landline network. Following complaints from workers of damaged, sagging lines and unsafe utility poles, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has announced it will be looking into whether or not the telecom giant’s actions put employees and the public at risk. [More]
At Least 16 NJ Towns Left With Failing Phone Service While Verizon Dithers On Repairing Copper Wires
Verizon has made it very clear that they have no interest in maintaining or upgrading their aging, legacy copper-wire networks. If they were replacing them all with fiber that would be one thing, but according to residents and officials in at least 16 New Jersey towns, that’s not what’s happening. Instead, municipalities are just seeing their entire communications infrastructure left to rot, to the point where you can’t even make a phone call on a rainy day.
The California Public Utilities Commission plans to get to the bottom of why Verizon and AT&T phone service isn’t consistent in the state by making it clear that the state hasn’t forgotten a years-old order requiring that both providers conduct and finance investigations into their infrastructures. [More]
FCC Adopts Rule Saying Your Phone Company Actually Has To Tell You Before They Kill Your Copper Landline
The age of copper is over. Or at least, the nation’s biggest telephone legacy landline carriers really want it to be. And the FCC is okay with that — as long as companies stick to a few new consumer protection rules that the commission voted on today.
While plenty of Americans rush to acquire the latest and greatest in new telecom technology, there are some that only need the basic phone service they’ve had for decades. But as we’ve seen on multiple occasions recently, a number of traditional landline users are being left out in the cold as Verizon tries to transition customers away from copper line service and to fiberoptic phone lines. And for one elderly New Yorker, Verizon’s apparent inflexibility resulted in months of having absolutely no service at all. [More]
While we wait for phone companies to get around to offering services that help consumers block unwanted prerecorded robocalls, there are already several options available for people to use now, but not all of them may be up to the task. [More]
FCC Proposal: Phone Companies Need To Offer Backup Power, Actually Notify You If They Kill Off Your Copper-Wire Landline
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is introducing a new proposal to the commission today that would attempt to protect consumers’ interests while advancing the transition away from plain old copper-wire service and onto IP data networks.
Even though his landline service was working fine, a man in Virginia was recently told by Verizon that he had two weeks to switch to the company’s fiberoptic service or lose his account altogether. [More]
Copper wire is expensive and old-fashioned. Phone companies don’t want to maintain or use it anymore. Still, some customers like their reliable old land-lines, and the law creates certain obligations for phone companies to provide and maintain them. But Verizon is apparently so sick and tired of providing plain old telephone service that they’re threatening to disconnect customers who don’t “voluntarily” upgrade to fiber A.S.A.P.
Though more than 40% of U.S. homes are now cellphone-only, many millions of Americans still have landline service. But a union representing 35,000 Verizon employees says the company is refusing to repair broken copper-line networks. [More]
When people switch from one phone provider to another, even for landline service, they’re supposed to be able to port their phone number from their old phone company to their new one. That didn’t happen for one new Comcast customer, who lost her phone number of 15 years when she switched from AT&T. [More]
Verizon and other operators of copper wire landline service have been accused in recent years of letting these old networks fall into disrepair in order to shift consumers over to wireless and fiberoptic services. It certainly doesn’t help Verizon’s case when the company spends months failing to investigate problems with rural phone service that its own data showed existed. [More]
Phones are wireless, consumers are cutting back, and copper is expensive: all are reasons why the big phone companies want permission from the FCC to walk away from old-fashioned landline networks and to keep moving toward an internet-based future. The FCC tentatively agrees, and voted 3-2 today to take another baby step in the process that will end up making the nation’s century-old copper landline network obsolete.
Ten years ago, only about 1-in-20 American homes were cellphone-only. By 2010, that rate had soared to 1-in-5. And according to the newest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of U.S. homes that have ditched landlines completely has doubled since 2010, and now stands at 41%. [More]
The time has come, it seems, to sit the children down by the glow of the 55-inch flat screen TV set to the fireplace channel, and tell them all about what that weird looking metal and glass box used to mean to people. Yes, kids, we had to use landline telephones for many years, some inside one of these magical “booths.” The New York Times can explain. [via Jim Romanesko]