Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

State's Deal With Verizon On High-Speed Internet Service Finds Few Friends in NJ

The state and Verizon New Jersey have hammered out an agreement to settle a dispute on how the telecom company will comply with a two-decades-old law requiring it to provide high-speed broadband service to all of its customers.

State's Deal With Verizon On High-Speed Internet Service Finds Few Friends in NJ

Verizon Communication Inc.´s FiOS TV service.
Verizon Communication Inc.'s FiOS TV service.

The state and Verizon New Jersey have hammered out an agreement to settle a dispute on how the telecom company will comply with a two-decades-old law requiring it to provide high-speed broadband service to all of its customers.

But will it fly?

The settlement -- reached between the staff of the state Board of Public Utilities and Verizon earlier this year -- is drawing widespread opposition from consumer advocates, many communities, and the New Jersey Division of Rate Counsel.

The so-called stipulation settlement will not take effect unless approved by the BPU commissioners, who have not decided yet when to take up the issue, a source of controversy for years.

Opponents argue Verizon has not complied with a 1993 law, requiring 100 percent of its territory to be upgraded to high-speed broadband service by 2010. That failure has left some rural towns and poorer communities without access to meaningful broadband service, according to critics.

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