Bus ads drive message to DC City Council: Verizon’s infrastructure lacking, the District needs FiOS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:rnJanuary 31, 2008rnrnContact:rnRuth Castel-Branco 202.489.2273rnrnBus ads drive message to DC City Council:rnVerizon’s infrastructure lacking, the District needs FiOSrnrnWASHINGTON, DC-City busses will roll out of parking garages tomorrow morning with a new message to the Council from DC residents, “This bus isn’t the only thing passing you by. Verizon is bringing high-speed Internet to the suburbs: Not to DC.” While Verizon has been advertising its high speed FiOS network on City airwaves, plans to actually install FiOS in the city are far from the drawing board and DC based organizations are calling on the Council to push back.rnrn“Verizon’s cherry-picking and at the moment DC’s just not low-hanging fruit,” said Jim Pappas, President of CWA Local 2336. According to Pappas, Verizon has moved over a third of its jobs from the District to the suburbs in the past three years, leaving DC residents with increasingly poor phone service. “My members [Verizon service technicians] tell me that many customers have service trouble every time it rains and the troubles end up getting left so long that the sun dries out the cable and the problems disappear on their own – at least until the next rain.”rnrnVerizon customers have made similar complaints. “I lose my phone service fairly frequently, at least 5 times in the past year, for a day or more, and it’s usually associated with bad weather. I always check the outside box first and when it’s not receiving a positive signal spend 10-20 minutes on the phone,” said Susan Pultz, a Verizon customer in North West DC, during a recent survey conducted by Connect-DC.rnrnThe bus ad campaign comes ahead of two council hearings next week on Verizon’s quality of service and a vote on whether to deregulate Voice Over Internet Protocol. “From our surveys it’s clear that Verizon has not been able to meet existing service quality standards for regulated phone services,” said Mackenzie Baris, lead organizer with DC Jobs with Justice. “By giving up its right to regulate a new technology that may develop and expand in unexpected ways, the City Council is shirking off its responsibility to protect consumers. Residents of the District of Columbia deserve better.”rnrnSchedule of events:rnrnVote on the Telecommunications Competition Amendment Act of 2007. rnTuesday, February 5th, 2008. 10:00am. John rnrnQuality of service hearings on utilities, including Verizon:rnThursday, February 7th, 2008. 10:00am. Wilson Building.rnSaturday, February 9th, 2008. 11:00am.Wilson Building.rnrn###rn

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