CWA Reaches Settlement with Verizon On Neglected Infrastructure

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Communications Workers of America (CWA) reached a settlement with Verizon, requiring the company to repair and replace bad cable, defective equipment, faulty backup batteries, and remove 15,000 double telephone poles, which the union considers a victory for Pennsylvania consumers.

The settlement came after the CWA complaint was filed against Verizon with the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission in October 2015. The complaint noted Verizon’s failure to maintain its copper infrastructure in violation of its statutory obligation to provide safe and adequate service to customers, according to a press release by the CWA.  

CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney noted, “For nearly two years, CWA documented Verizon’s failure to repair the copper network and equipment, in areas where Verizon has chosen not to build out its Fios fiber network. We submitted those findings, along with substantial and expert testimony about the issue, spotlighting the threat to service quality and public safety. This settlement is a big victory for Pennsylvania consumers, who pay for and expect their telephone service to work.”

Verizon has agreed to the following:

  • Cable Replacements, including faulty cable in communities across the state – urban, suburban, and rural. Verizon will review the requests made in 2015 and 2016, and complete the cable replacement projects within 18 months.
  • Remediation of Copper Plant in 30 communities served by wire centers with the worst record of service performance and customer complaints, primarily in rural areas. The first 15 areas will be completed within 18 months, the remaining within 36 months.
  • Telephone poles that number approximately 15,000 and deemed “double poles” will be fixed. These poles are falling, leaning, rotting, or partially cut off. Verizon will remediate 15,000 double poles over the next 36 months at a rate of 5,000 per year.
  • Remote terminal batteries that cause service failures during power outages will be addressed. Verizon will inspect and replace, as necessary, batteries in remote terminals, with priority to those used by emergency services.
  • Repair and call answer time will be reported to CWA by Verizon on a quarterly basis.

In addition to the quarterly reports, CWA will meet with Verizon twice per year to review progress. Additionally, the agreement is enforceable by the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission.

June 6, 2017       

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