New York City Slams Verizon’s Spectacular Fiber Failure

In 2008, Verizon promised the city of New York that everyone who wanted fiber optic Internet and television service from FiOS would have it by 2014. We’re now almost halfway through 2015, and a new report reveals just how spectacular Verizon’s failure was when it came to delivering on that promise.

The Wall Street Journal gained early access to a report set to be released on Thursday by New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. The report analyzes the current state of Verizon’s FiOS service in New York City as related to the company’s promise to roll out its service quickly and efficiently.

In 2008, Verizon signed a franchise agreement stating that it would wire all city dwellings with fiber optic cable for internet and TV service and offer that service to anyone who wanted it by 2014. The City’s new report reveals that Verizon didn’t just fail to deliver on that promise, it failed by a wide margin.

The audit found that there are currently a whopping 40,000 open requests for FiOS service, and roughly 75% of those requests have been open for one year or even longer.

We don’t know exactly how short the company fell regarding its promise to wire all of New York City’s dwellings with FiOS fiber, but a well-positioned source tells BGR that penetration is currently “nowhere near” 100%. This particular source even went as far as to call Verizon’s failure in this regard, “spectacular.”

Verizon said that it has already invested $3.5 billion in its New York-area FiOS rollout, but the carrier made no excuses for not delivering on its promise. It’s unclear exactly what the city plans to do in light of the fact that Verizon has not kept up its end of the bargain.

UPDATE: A Verizon spokesperson contacted BGR with the company’s response:

First and foremost, it is important to note that it’s not a mere coincidence that the report is made public today, and labor negotiations with our largest union begin on Monday. It’s well known the union has ties to the city administration, and things like this are a familiar union tactic we have seen before.

We disagree with many parts of the report. The review was based on erroneous factual conclusions and incorrect interpretations of the Agreement, particular its conclusions on Verizon’s passing all of the households in the City with fiber-optic facilities. We indeed have met the requirement to install fiber optics through all five boroughs. Our 3.5 billion investment and the 15,000 miles of fiber we have built have given New Yorkers added choices and a robust set of advanced, reliable and resilient services. The challenge we have is gaining access to properties which of course would expand availability. We look forward to working with the City to seek solutions to this issue.