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Verizon Neglecting Copper For FiOS
Union workers say uncompetitive networks are deteriorating...
by Karl Bode 10:24AM Monday Jun 11 2007
Verizon union employees in Virginia say the state's copper (POTS, DSL) network is in serious disrepair because the company directs the majority of its resources and attention to selective FiOS deployment. According to workers, the copper plant is "deteriorating badly" and is "stretched to the limits." Some noisy lines and other problems are simply being ignored.

The condition to which (Verizon's copper network) has deteriorated is no accident but a conscious business decision...
Workers say that preventative maintenance programs have been abandoned, and they're being asked to implement band-aid repairs -- which are meant to be temporary but are left permanently. The workers are also complaining that the tools they once relied on to support the DSL network are no longer available.

"The condition to which it has deteriorated is no accident but a conscious business decision, since the examples we have given are not isolated problems, but hold true all over the commonwealth," says Charles Buttiglieri of the Communications Workers of America. CWA says they support FiOS, but fear losing less profitable customers to competitors.

In other words, they don't want more FairPoint-esque sell offs of unprofitable regions, which would likely mean less work, fewer lucrative contracts and potential layoffs.

We've previously reported how a deteriorating copper network has also been a complaint of the West Virginia Public Service Commission's consumer advocate division. "To finance expansions in New York and northern Virginia, [Verizon is] pulling money and resources from West Virginia, where it doesn’t face competition," says the PSC.

Customer complaints in West Virginia have soared 60% since 2001.

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