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NYAG-ing Verizon

3:30 PM -- The New York Attorney General's office is now asking some pointed questions of Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) related to its FiOS grounding controversy. In an email this week to "interested parties" -- many of whom work at Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) -- the NYAG revealed it has sent Verizon a list of information requests related to the way its FiOS equipment is installed in consumer homes.

For those not familiar with this controversy, an update: Since the spring of 2006, the New York Department of Public Safety has repeatedly found that around half the Verizon FiOS installations it has looked at in Nassau, Orange, Rockland, and Westchester counties weren't properly bonded and grounded, as mandated by the National Electrical Code. Read this and then this and then look at all these photos and you'll be all caught up.

The NYAG wants to know what Verizon knows about its own installations. The most interesting requests, by far, were as follows:

  • Is Verizon Communications, Inc., or any of its business units, subsidiaries, or affiliates, aware of any alleged instances of improper FiOS grounding/bonding in any state other than New York? If so, identify said state(s), the number(s) of instances, and the specific circumstances of the instances, and describe in detail how these instances are being addressed by Verizon and/or state or municipal regulators in said state(s).

  • Identify any and all claims of personal injury and/or property damage made against Verizon in the United States relating to allegedly improper FiOS grounding/bonding.

Verizon, naturally, is perturbed that we would dare to ask about anything that might suggest ANY FiOS installation ANYWHERE is less than perfect and holy in every way.

A spokesman for the company writes us to note that the company knows of "no incident where a person has been injured or property damaged by an improper ground associate with our FiOS equipment." There have been no reports of damage or injury and there have been no claims, Verizon claims.

We tried the company's patience and asked the NYAG's questions again, using slightly different phrasing. This time we were met with the paternal sort of "how-dare-you" response that only AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) can match on any given week:

"Phil, we have 1.4 million FiOS TV customers, and about 2 million FiOS Internet customers; we've been installing FiOS and the related equipment for nearly five years now," the spokesman wrote in an email to us blockheads here Light Reading. "We are not aware of any incident of harm or damage to property."

We searched the bottom of the email for the phrase, "Just piss off -- OK?"

Alas, it wasn't there.

— Phil Harvey, Editor, Light Reading

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:33:07 PM
re: NYAG-ing Verizon Okay, I was a bit theatrical in my representation of Verizon's spokesperson. He wasn't personally annoyed at anyone and I kinda threw him under the bus by putting Verizon's -- how you say? -- institutional chip on his shoulder.

My point, as ever, was to convey that this whole issue (1) appears more political than substantial and (2) would have gone away a lot quicker were the telcos not so, you know, telco-like.

To the unnamed spokesman I offer my apologies for making you sound like a meanie-pants. I promise not to let my imagination get the best of me in the future. Remember: It's not what you say, it's how I'm feeling.

Again, another joke. I can't stop sometimes.


paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:33:07 PM
re: NYAG-ing Verizon
I think we need to rickroll you...

Did you just write that a Verizon employee should be institutionalized?

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:33:06 PM
re: NYAG-ing Verizon Rickroll me? That's absurd.

All I said was that I was being too tough on Verizon and that they're always polite and lovely.

Oh, and here's an exclusive video of what happens when you don't properly ground your FTTH connection outside the home:

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:33:04 PM
re: NYAG-ing Verizon Love those guys at Broadband Reports:

ip_power 12/5/2012 | 3:33:01 PM
re: NYAG-ing Verizon back at you PH
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