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Baltimore Still Begging Verizon for FiOS
Verizon Hasn't The Heart to Tell Them They're Screwed
by Karl Bode 08:39AM Friday Mar 22 2013
For several years now the city of Baltimore has been asking Verizon why they, and several other significant cities like Buffalo, Boston, and Alexandria weren't seen fit to receive FiOS upgrades. Despite half a decade of asking the same question, they still don't seem to be getting any answers. North Baltimore residents met with Verizon last week to again ask when their aging DSL lines will be upgraded.

If you've been following along at home you know the answer to that question is never, but Verizon continues to essentially play patty cake with these communities:
"At this time we’ve not been extending any franchises anywhere in the country," said Tad Bishop, Verizon’s vice president of Governmental Affairs...Bishop declined to discuss why Verizon decided to extend its FiOS to some communities in the Baltimore metro area and not others, saying it was a business decision and cited proprietary issues. "These are the kind of things we don’t put on display," Bishop said...He also rejected the notion—raised by a community member—that the city was being avoided because of racial or socioeconomic reasons. He pointed out that Boston also does not receive FiOS service. "We’re not picking and choosing per se," Bishop said.
How are you not "picking and choosing" when you're clearly picking and choosing? The news outlet above fails to note that Verizon does offer just standalone FiOS service to a select few, luxury apartment complexes in Baltimore, so picking and choosing is exactly what Verizon is doing. And while that picking and choosing obviously isn't outright targeting lower income people of color, that's precisely who their mystery selection criteria ends up hurting in places like Baltimore and Buffalo.

Baltimore is one of many cities who simply want somebody to come in and provide better broadband service, but don't offer an attractive enough return on the investment for any large, investor-forcused private company to bother. Verizon certainly isn't interested, though it's kind of them to continue to attend these meetings year after year in order to deliver non-answers in person.

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