New York sues Verizon over fibre rollout

The city of New York has hit Verizon with a lawsuit, accusing the telco of failing to bring fibre connections to almost a million residents.

The lawsuit claims Verizon breached a contract to make its high-speed Fios broadband available to every household by 2014.

According to the city, Verizon’s rollout has only reached 2.2 million households so far, way short of the 3.3 million estimated when the 12-year agreement was struck in 2008.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio accused the provider of “breaking the trust” of millions of New York residents. “Verizon promised that every household in the city would have access to its fiber-optic FiOS service by 2014,” he said in a statement. “It’s 2017 and we’re done waiting. No corporation – no matter how large or powerful – can break a promise to New Yorkers and get away with it.”

Verizon Fios is a bundled Internet access, telephone, and television service that operates over a fiber-optic communications network with over 5 million customers in nine US states. The name, Fios, is an acronym for Fiber Optic Service.

According to Ars Technica, the initial agreement was for a cable television franchise which was agreed to pass “all households” by 30 June 2014, but would also boost fibre connectivity because it was for a fibre-to-the-premises infrastructure.

In a statement to the New York Post, a Verizon spokesperson claimed the company had “lived up to our obligation 100%”.

“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,” the spokesperson added. “We plan to vigorously fight the city’s allegations.”