NYC sues Verizon for failure to roll out fibre

When a company makes a promise and fails to deliver, it typically invites itself to get sued, which is pretty much the legal predicament that Verizon has found themselves in after New York City has filed a lawsuit against the carrier, claiming that Verizon had broke a contract dating back to 2008 in which they promised a citywide rollout of fiber coverage.

Additionally, in a statement released with the suit, Mayor Bill de Blasio has criticized Verizon by saying that; Verizon will face the consequences for breaching the trust of nearly 8.5 million New Yorkers. "The de Blasio administration is disingenuously attempting to rewrite the terms of an agreement made with its predecessor and is acting in its own political self-interests that are completely at odds with what's best for New Yorkers", it said in a statement". Spokesman Ray McConville said Monday that Verizon sees "passed" as meaning that it can reach every home, provided a landlord gives permission. The name, Fios, is an acronym for Fiber Optic Service.

However, a statement made by the telco in the 2008 agreement, clearly pointed in the lawsuit; states that Verizon has agreed that its fiber network will run 'past all the residence locations in the city.' Seeing such contradictory statements by both the parties; it seems that the reality is different. Most of the requests have been outstanding for more than a year. But, it has given this service to only 2.2 million households so far.

According to an audit released past year by the city's Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications, Verizon missed its 2014 deadline after entering a franchise agreement in 2008 that allowed the company to install its fiber-optic network as long as it provided access to every city home.

"At a time when communities across the country are seeking and encouraging broadband investments like these, the City is inexplicably turning its back on this investment and its residents by pursuing foolish litigation that will harm jobs, business growth and technology competition throughout all five boroughs", Verizon said in a statement.

The city said in a lawsuit Monday that Verizon missed a 2014 deadline to extend wire by every home or apartment building in the city - in technical parlance, "passing" the home.

This lawsuit is filed in the Supreme Court of NY.

The two-count lawsuit, signed by assistant city lawyer June Buch, asks the court to find that Verizon breached its contract and its guarantee.

  • Joanne Flowers