June 11, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Harrisburg, PA – Resolving a complaint to state regulators by the Communications Workers of America, Verizon agreed June 5 to make repairs and upgrades to its network of copper-wire lines in Pennsylvania.
The union had filed a complaint with the state Public Utilities Commission in 2015 charging that the company was not maintaining its copper infrastructure, violating its legal obligation to provide safe and adequate service to customers. Under the out-of-court settlement, Verizon will replace bad cables within three years, particularly in 30 rural areas the CWA identified as having the worst problems; replace dead batteries at “remote terminal” sites, particularly those serving 911 calls and police; and replace more than 15,000 double telephone poles, many of which are near collapsing. “Today’s settlement shows that Verizon cannot neglect its copper infrastructure and provide unsafe, inadequate service to its customers in order to maximize profits,” CWA Local 13000 President Jim Gardler said in a statement. “CWA’s testimony and evidence of Verizon’s neglect spoke volumes. This settlement will help improve service quality and safety for Pennsylvanians.” Read more