FiOS-Less Cities Complaint About Spectrum Deal - Broadcasting & Cable

FiOS-Less Cities Complaint About Spectrum Deal

Argue it would foreclose the possibility of video/broadband competition via FiOS in their cities
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Groups in five cities without FiOS service have
asked the FCC not to approve the sale of cable wireless spectrum to Verizon and
the associated deals that have cable operators marketing video service in
Verizon Wireless' stores, or at least not okay it without conditions that
spread the FiOS wealth.

In
comments to the FCC, according to the Communications Workers of America, which
opposes the deal, groups and elected officials in Albany, Buffalo and Syracuse,
N.Y., as well as Boston and Baltimore criticized the deal and agreements to
cross market, saying it would foreclose the possibility of video/broadband
competition via FiOS in their cities.

"Under
this transaction, Baltimore will never get a
fiber-optic network and the city will be at a disadvantage. The direct job loss
will be the hundreds of technicians that would be employed building, installing
and maintaining FiOS in the area. The indirect costs of this deal are even
higher: the lack of competition in telecommunications will raise prices and
reduce service quality," said Curt Anderson, chair of the Baltimore City
Delegation to the Maryland House of Delegates, joined by Baltimore City Council
President William H. Cole.

But a Verizon exec points out that those cities are all areas that were not
scheduled to get FiOS, whether or not the cable spectrum deal goes through. As
Verizon has pointed out, the company decided back in 2010 that it was going to
build out the franchises it had already secured and target those 18 million
customers in and around New York City, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, rather than spend any
more of its shareholders money in a wider buildout. The above cities were not
in those franchise areas.

Undeterred,
some of the groups and officials were suggesting that further FiOS build-outs
to their cities should be made conditions of approving the deal.

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