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NYC Mayor De Blasio Wants Better Broadband Competition in NYC
by Karl Bode 08:51AM Monday Feb 24 2014
Back in 2008 Verizon negotiated a closed-door agreement with then NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg, one Verizon strongly suggested would result in Verizon offering FiOS to 100% of the city by 2014 -- sort of. Fine print in the deal allowed Verizon to back away from that promise if they pay a few small fines and/or aren't seeing the kind of TV subscriber uptake they'd like. One of the few critics of this was then Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who is now Mayor of New York City.

Obviously distracted with other things during his initial time in office, de Blasio has finally as expected shifted his eyes toward Verizon, complaining recently about Verizon's apparent lag in FiOS promises and the general lack of broadband competition in NYC, which makes getting access to broadband particularly hard on the poor. Verizon insists they remain on schedule despite it being 2014 with only about half the city actually connected to FiOS:
A Verizon spokesman said that the company is "on pace" to meet its obligations "to run an all-fiber network throughout the entire five boroughs." "Even though there are many Internet providers serving the city, no company provides more Internet access products—and more importantly, availability—than Verizon," the spokesman said. "And Verizon is the only communications company to commit to wiring the entire city with a fiber network."
As the article notes, de Blasio is exploring his options in terms of improving competition in the city. As the article also notes, should Comcast take over Time Warner Cable, one option is to require Comcast offer the faster speeds Time Warner Cable lagged on as part of a more transparent, fair franchise arrangement with the city.

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