Verizon To Expand High-Speed Internet In Agreement With State

ALBANY – Under an agreement with the New York State Public Service Commission, Verizon will expand its high-speed internet services in New York to another 47,000 homes and repair its existing telephone infrastructure.
“The joint proposal strikes the appropriate balance for consumers, Verizon and its employees,” Commission chairman John Rhodes said. “The joint proposal builds upon and expands important customer protections previously approved by the Commission and it requires Verizon to expand its fiber network and invest in its copper network, both of which will result in service improvements.”
The deal requires Verizon to expand fiber and hybrid fiber-copper networks to parts of upstate, the Hudson Valley and Long Island.
Verizon will also upgrade its existing copper system in New York City and remove 64,000 double telephone poles deemed excessive throughout the state over a four-year period.
“We are pleased that the commission recognized that the settlement strikes an appropriate balance, and we look forward to fully implementing its provisions,” a Verizon official said.
Verizon is the largest carrier in New York.
State regulators have been pushing Verizon, Charter and other cable and internet providers to more quickly add reliable high-speed internet services in New York, particularly in rural and poor areas with limited access.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and regulators have been threatening Charter with lawsuits and fines, as well as considering revoking its license for Spectrum cable if it doesn’t build out its network more quickly.
The deal with Verizon will “result in the availability of higher quality, more reliable landline telephone service to currently underserved communities and will increase Verizon’s competitive presence in several economically important telecommunications markets in New York,” the Public Service Commission said.
The deal doesn’t impact Verizon’s Fios TV network, which the company has not sought to expand in the state.
Verizon and the state have been negotiating an agreement on the company’s services for more than two years.