A consortium of elected officials and consumer advocates have petitioned the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) to investigate why Verizon is raising prices while its wireline infrastructure allegedly deteriorates throughout New York state. To hear Ars Technica
tell it, Verizon's neglecting copper customers in particular while it focuses on fiber and wireless -- yet at the same time they neglect DSL users, they're consistently raising rates on them
"For example, in New York City customer phone bills, since 2006 the price of residential ‘dial tone’ service (one line item on the bill) went up 84 percent, while other services, such as inside wire maintenance, went up 132 percent," the 20-page petition states.
That's not particularly unique. Though companies promise a bevy of market miracles if they're deregulated, the historical result of rate deregulation in telecom is usually higher prices and lower quality service
in the face of insufficient competition.
As we've noted for some time, Verizon is eager to exit the DSL business to focus on fiber and wireless, so they're in effect working to drive DSL users to cable
through a combination of neglect and price hikes. We've been talking about this for several years (specifically how it's going to result in less competition than ever before
), but Verizon's behavior has only lately started to see meaningful public, press and lawmaker attention.
The petition was signed by 49 State Assembly members, seven State Senate members, and US Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY). They were joined by Mayors and city leaders representing more than a dozen cities, towns and counties, alongside numerous consumer advocacy groups including Common Cause and the AARP.