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Verizon Job Cuts Just Keep Coming
26,000 since 2008, 13,000 more this year...
by Karl Bode 04:38PM Wednesday Jan 27 2010
Sure, Verizon is losing a significant number of customers due to the slow but steady death of traditional copper-based phone service, and the economy isn't stellar. But Verizon's also making a very conscious decision to hang up on large swaths of rural America so they can focus primarily on selectively-deployed FiOS service and wireless. That refocus is accompanied by a significant number of job cuts. The company has cut 26,000 jobs over the last two years, and yesterday told attendees of their earnings conference call that many more cuts are coming:
Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said on the company's quarterly earnings call Tuesday that it will slash about 13,000 positions in 2010. The telecom giant previously cut 13,000 jobs from its landline business in 2008 and another 13,000 again in 2009.Verizon's total headcount at the end of 2010 was nearly 223,000, with 117,000 employees in the fixed-line business.
More than half of Verizon's revenues now come via wireless, and that number is expected to grow as Verizon embraces new plans that incur high consumer overage charges. The company is making it pretty clear that they're no longer interested in DSL service. In addition to slowly jacking up the price of DSL service, there's a long list of state regulators who claim Verizon is only getting worse when it comes to supporting existing DSL and copper-based voice customers. Union workers continue to complain they aren't getting the resources they need to support existing customers, and it doesn't look that's going to be changing in 2010.

Yes, Verizon's running a business, and refocusing their attention on more profitable ventures is a no-brainer. The problem is the company still has millions of customers using Verizon services on networks that were propped up by taxpayer assistance. These users are either being neglected, or they're being sold off to companies using sophisticated financial deals that deliver millions in tax-savings and debt-reduction to Verizon, but which saddle the buying companies with mountains of debt. That debt means no network upgrades, and in the case of at least two Verizon DSL sale partners, bankruptcy.

While the economy gives Verizon a justification for the layoffs (execs conveniently insist they don't see economic improvement in the cards until 2011), in reality Verizon's engaged in a complete business overhaul that also has very real human costs. What happens to huge swaths of Verizon customers on taxpayer-subsidized networks Verizon is no longer interested in owning (and the workers who maintain them) should be one of the bigger questions of 2010.

topics flat nest 

Staten Island, NY

hold up your end of the contract verizon

2014 is the commitment time to nyc to have fios readily available for all. how do you expect to do that if you keep laying off workers. lets get it done with all the hard working employees that you have. if you need to cut somewhere start with the ridiculous amounts that all the board members and vps and ceos get. your employees built this company for you to even be in your positions that you have. lets not forget that uncle ivan. id like to see you do a fios triple play in under 8 hrs. corporate greed still running strong across america.

Canonsburg, PA

1 edit

Re: hold up your end of the contract verizon

Verizon will undoubtedly hold up their end of the bargain in NYC but now that Verizon has stated it won't expand FiOS to new areas and is fleeing from rural areas as fast as possible the federal and state governments really should make a renewed commitment to hold Verizon's feet to the fire. Otherwise Verizon is in danger of just becoming one giant consumer and taxpayer ripoff that proves why there may be a need to regulate the telcos more rather than less.

Brooklyn, NY

Re: hold up your end of the contract verizon

Ivan made a tidy sum for his 2008 compensation package of $25,000,000.00+.
Wonder how he will do in 2009 ?

Lots of fiber can be strung/dug if he cut his compensation by 50%.
Sure he'll "only" get $13,000,00.00+ but he will be able to subscribe to Food Stamps to get food on the table for the family.

Broomall, PA

It's to bad

Its to bad about the employees who lost their job. I been in that boat since March of 2008 and I am in the Engineering (broadcast field). They should retrain those employees with fiber and wireless. I know that Verizon wanted to go big time into fiber and at some point landlines are going to be a thing of the past. All those employees where are they going to get jobs now. No other Telecom company would want to maintain copper with new technology around now would they?



Re: It's to bad

Verizon needs to have a copper network to prevent companies demanding to get on the fios network.

Tavistock NJ

Verizon was NOT taxpayer subsidized

millions of customers using Verizon services on networks that were propped up by taxpayer assistance
I see the above often repeated. But it is a distortion of what really happened. Verizon was never taxpayer subsidized. They were once rate regulated by state PUCs that were very generous in determining what Verizon was allowed to charge their customers. Tax money was not funneled to the company like is often implied. It was merely a regulatory system that was broken and where most customers were better of when it was deregulated somewhat.
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page


Canonsburg, PA

1 edit

Re: Verizon was NOT taxpayer subsidized

They received huge tax breaks on their Reverse Morris Trust sales. They are also the second largest recipient of USF funds after AT&T. I won't even get into their (Bell Atlantic) lies to Pennsylvania. How is that not taxpayer subsidized?
Love it, Hate it.

Baltimore, MD

Re: Verizon was NOT taxpayer subsidized

apparently what he is trying to say is, their is no spoon. When Obviously their is!!! He we should have had at least one year where we could have claimed Ma bell on our taxes. I hope all these little small companys they make come back on day & start growing so they can bite Verizon on the ass in the future.

I have a serious dislike for Verizon for the Fios crap. But hell I'm perfectly happy with my comcast, they can keep their crap service.

Rockville, MD
legacy copper networks are a result of government granted monopoly. ATT/Bell were guaranteed certain rates of return; they could not lose money.

sounds like propping to me.

Hazelwood, MO
Spin it how you will but the ENTIRE phone network was built on the backs of the US people and we continue to pay for it.

Since their very existence they have been given "incentives" to build out. It doesn't matter if it is a shoebox full of $20's, tax incentives, debt forgiveness, allowed below the line fees or piles of horse manurer they process and turn around and sell for profit. They received financial aide, competition aide, and market benefits to become who they are. Those FACTS will never go away no matter how many times they turn the network over or how many decades pass.

Port Byron, NY
·TDS Communications


I hope they drop my area today and let TDS Service me. I am only like 4 houses away from where DSL is availble through TDS. Verizon is a bunch of Satanists. They need to go to church. Verizon couldnt offer me any broadband, just a telephone line. NO DSL because of "port availability"

Verizon your WASHED UP son.

Waterbury, CT

1 recommendation

13000 job cuts...

out of a company with 223,000 employees barely covers the number of people who will leave anyway through retirement or normal attrition. What the company is saying more or less is that they aren't going to be refilling those positions.

And, I'm really not sure I understand or concur with this point about their customers on older networks being neglected. What..they go out of service and no one comes to fix it?
Of course that's not the case. If what is meant is that verizon isn't spending the money to upgrade old technology with more old technology..who can blame them? It seems to be a case of damned if they do and damned if they don't. The company has been very aggressive at rolling out fios and spending a lot of money on next generation networks and now they'd like to see some return on their already huge investments. Again..who can blame them?

I predicted up to two years ago on this site that things would be getting VERY difficult for the telco's both with loss of landline customers..dsl customers..and huge expense in rolling out next generation networks. And..at the same time..predicted cable co's like Comcast would be wasting no time eating their lunch by rolling out d3 networks and growing their phone business via triple play bundles. My predictions have all come to pass. At the same time I praised verizon for doing the right thing and spending the money needed to compete but said that didn't insure their survival even...just that they were doing what they could with a very difficult situation.

I just don't think they can be faulted now for doing exactly that...and should be praised instead for taking the bull by horns and trying to wrestle with it. What I DON'T think they should do however..is to stop or even slow down their fios rollout.
It really is their only last hope and even if they aren't seeing all they expected too..they really need it in order to compete in the future. If they don't..they will continue to do nothing except lose more dsl customers..not have tv to compete in many areas..and continue to lose landline customers. Wireless alone will not sustain them in that case.

In any event..I think that given the whole scenario and what they've faced..13k jobs that would be lost anyway through attrition is a drop in the bucket. And the complaints about their not spending huge money on old networks is unwarranted...and unfair.

Verizon has done a lot in a very difficult enviroment. And with what may wind up being an impossible predicament they found themselves in.

The time has come for the cable co's to rule. And Comcast has shown what they could do in a very short amount of time with rolling out a nation of D3 networks.

Life is tough for the telco's for sure.
The Coyote captured the RR! Roadrunner Rick is now Comcastic!

Smithtown, NY

1 recommendation

Re: 13000 job cuts...

I pretty much agree with what you say. I hope Verizon is cutting back wherever they can in dead markets and expanding for the future which I guess is FIOS and wireless.

A boss of mine once told me that the most difficult thing to ensure success in business was to change with the market place. That guy turned a $10 million business into a $60 million business.

The US auto industry is an example of not changing with the times and refusing to cut back (undeniably fighting the unions) and look where it is today.

Buttons, Bows, Beamer, Shadow, Kasey
Stewartstown, PA
said by Rick:

out of a company with 223,000 employees barely covers the number of people who will leave anyway through retirement or normal attrition. What the company is saying more or less is that they aren't going to be refilling those positions.
Tell that to the laid off workers. I know of at least 11 in my building. Yes, they also aren't back filling positions. You might notice people now complaining about phone outages not getting fixed for 2-3 weeks. DSL outages that last far longer than they did a couple years ago. It use to be they expected a DSL outage ticket to be picked up in five minutes. Now many sit in the pool for hours. I bet Ivan's bonus is going to look great this year.
RIP my babies Buttons 1/15/94-2/9/07, Beamer 7/24/08, & Bows 12/17/94-10/11/09

Vz trucker

Dear Rick, Please read the article again. The corporation presents their statistics in order to give you the wrong impression. What is not said is that all of the job cuts are on the wire line side. They are cutting 13,000 jobs but out of the 117,000 wire line division, not the 223,000 total. That's an 11.1% reduction. Verizon Wireless never lays anyone off. Their turnover rate is so high that they will never have to. And there were 13,000 cuts in 2009. And there were 13,000 cuts in 2008 also. These are not levels of normal attrition at all. And as a wire line employee, I can assure you that almost everyone who is eligible or can afford it has already retired. These are 13,000 layoffs that we are talking about here. And it's not for lack of work. It's also an inside secret that Verizon Wireless dumps a lot of it's costs on to Verizon Telecom to make wireless appear more profitable to investors than it really is. Many people don't know that most cell towers still work through copper land lines. The others are simply relay towers. And all functions of government and emergency response including 911 still use copper land lines. The copper network IS being neglected, trust me. As the article said, they are neglecting millions of customers that they still have an obligation to. If a cell tower goes out of service it is obviously a top priority, but residential phone and DSL customers are waiting way to long for repair service. Thank You

Verizon IS making cuts into the bone

As a recently laid off Tier 3 Verizon Business tech. that has been laid off in the last round, I can state:

They are laying off transport tech's that have 13+ years of experience with the fiber rings, and keeping the younger and less knowledgeable tech's.

The layoff decisions are based on the bean counters, and have nothing to do with MTTR (Mean time to repair) So, the customer suffers. I knew the large metro area network like the back of my hand, and could troubleshoot and repair a fault faster than any other tech.

My measured results in the proprietary install/ticket tracking system showed me as the top tech.

If they cared about the "network" I would have been the last one to get a pink slip. Yet, they kept people that don't know how a DWDM works, much less even know how to log into half the Sonet equipment used in the network.

To make matters worse, as they swallowed MCI, Worldcom, and several other smaller companies, they have a lot of legacy equipment. Some of witch, I was the only tech left standing with a working understanding of said equipment in this area.

This company only cares about the bottom line, and don't make decisions based on the ability to maintain the network.

I have maintained contact with employees and heard about extended outages, as they needed tech support from tier 2 support, as the business customer maintained an extended outage.

Out of frustration a long time ex-coworker called me and asked for help out of desperation, after he could not get support from the tier 2 support group on a legacy obscure piece of equipment.

I felt sorry for the friend, and NOT the company and walked him through the troubleshooting over the phone "this one time"



Re: Verizon IS making cuts into the bone

I'm sorry you were laid off, it's a shame this has happened because of poor Verizon management decisions and the recession effects from the previous administration.

You are absolutely right about the bean counters judging salary vs MTTR. I'm also one of the top techs in a and they just kept giving me more and more work so I left the whole corporate industry.

I will say this again, there is no such thing as "lifetime" employment anymore with many corporations. They just use you up and spit you out no matter how much blood, sweat and tears were used. They don't consider how hard you worked, and how many hours you put in, even during after hours and weekends. This sort of work overload is now "expected". There is no more employee consideration or appreciation, every employee is expendable. The corporation has infiltrated every aspect of life and law;career life is more miserable today than in the past. I will not let my kids suffer the same career path (IT and accounting) I took after many years in corporate.


Houghton Lake, MI

Nothing new in my area

I am in an area that Version servers. When i moved here 6 years ago, i had them install a second Phone line for business and asked about getting DLS. The installer laughed and said it was not going to happen.

It turns out they installed the DLS equipment in the CO over two years ago but have never got it to work and gave up he said because the lines are bad. I asked if they have put in any remotes that i could connect to and was told no.

Now six years later still no DSL.

I have turned of both phones (landlines) because they were over charging. $50 a month for a phone and 10 cent a minute for calls. I called and asked how i can reduce this bill as 50 bucks was just to much just to have a phone and still have to pay for calls. I was told that was the best they could do.

So i drop the land lines and got Cable phone. After one month some VP of something at Version sent me a letter and asked me to call him. I did. He wanted my business back, and after we talked about my unlimited calls for 24 bucks a month he said he could match that. I told him he is to late that i had called and ask before and they would not lower my bill and that they wanted to keep over charging me. Also i was changing to Cable as at least they have upgrade over the years and put some of that money back into this town so i have the triple play of TV/HSI/Phone. All that money i keep giving Version and never got anything new.

Now they are doing the same thing to there wireless customers and driving them away.

They need a new CEO.

"I Know Noting..."

Westminster, MD

Vz not doing anything different than...

millions of customers using Verizon services on networks that were propped up by taxpayer assistance

GM, the UAW, AIG, Chrysler,need I continue?. All courtesy of
"the most transparent Congress" and the big eared empty suit.

Try putting down that axe you grind 24/7 Karl.
"Our network engineers are aware of the problem..."


Spencer, MA

Service will change drastically

Unless something changes big time, in the not too distant future non urban (and even some urban areas) will have 3rd world level telecom services. Verizon has made it clear that they want to collapse the company to within their FIOS footprint where there will be skyrocketing rates done in collusion with the local cable companies. Rural, suburban, and some urban areas will be left with a copper plant that will be neglected or sold off to companies that will not be able to maintain service much less expand service.
The government needs to step in at this point. Even taking into account the government efficiency penalty, it would still be a far better option than the corporate neglect that awaits us otherwise.

Vz trucker


Hat's off to the author!

A very well written article! What it does not mention is that most cell towers work through copper land lines. The others are simply relay towers. As any lineman can attest, Verizon routinely dumps a lot of it's wireless costs onto the land line costs to make wireless seem more profitable and land line less profitable to investors. Then they blame it all on union labor costs. Verizon Wireless is non-union and a horrible place to work. Just ask any of their employees or observe their attitudes at any Verizon Wireless store. Then ask one of them how long they have been with the company. Most customer service reps last 2 years or less. This is a large part of their overall strategy to eliminate all collective bargaining agreements by 8/3/2011. Every time Vz gets rid of large groups of employees, the upper management earns huge bonuses so there are little or no savings to the consumer. If their huge cost reductions and technology upgrades are so great, then why is your wireless bill so ridiculously high? And when have you ever seen your bill go down? Don't let Uncle Ivan fool you. And for all of you "professionals" out there, as living wage jobs continue to disappear in our country, fewer and fewer people and their families are able to afford your services without good insurance of all kinds. Don't think it won't affect you too. As goes the middle class, so goes the rest of the economy!!!



Verizon is a bad corporation

Haven't seen Ivan take a pay cut yet, the man has lost his soul. I wish everyone in the Northern States would dump Verizon cellphones and pay that bastrd back. He needs a big dose of karma.

Phelan, CA

I live in a Rural area

I moved to a rural area before i moved I check for DSL and it was available at that time but when I moved and got settled all the DSL slots were full right now I am on Dial-up internet. I have been checking everyday for a DSL slot to open and have been checking for 4 months. So until I can get highspeed internet I have to give up playing my PC and PS3 video games and youtube. It is hard to go from dial-up to DSL and then having to go back to dial-up.