Improperly grounded optical network terminals (ONTs) aren't exactly the lead-based paint of broadband networks. And they're certainly not as harmful or menacing as AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s battery blow-ups from the past few years. (See AT&T Begins Massive Battery Replacement.) But New York officials have said, in public documents, that they believe "FiOS may form an electrically conductive path both to the outside world as well as other electrically powered devices inside the building."
So, with a lot of urging from its cable competitors, New York state officials have been all over Verizon to do something about its FiOS-connected homes that have failed inspection. The solution, a Network Review Plan that Verizon proposed in July, is taking place now. Verizon has said it will inspect its new and old installations and report those findings to the state, as a first step toward cleaning up whatever harmful specter -- actual or perceived -- lurks outside consumer homes.
According to data filed with the New York Public Service Commission this afternoon, Verizon, in the month of August, inspected more than 15 percent of its installed base of FiOS-connected homes in New York.
The result: a 59 percent failure rate.
Some context: Apparently more than one third of the homes inspected were listed as having "no access," which could mean those homes may have failed by default, since the inspector couldn't reach or access the ONT. Calls to Verizon went unreturned on Friday afternoon.
In its new installations, Verizon fared better, but was far from perfect as the data in the table provided shows:
Table 1: Verizon's New Installation, Grounding Compliance Audit, August 2008
|Location||Percentage of New FiOS-installed Homes in Compliance with the National Electrical Code|
|All of New York State||83|
For a more complete overview on the FiOS grounding fiasco, with pictures, see Verizon Foes Ground & Pound in New York. The New York Public Service Commission is set to consider "whether to approve, modify, or reject, in whole or in part" Verizon's Network Review Plan on Monday.
Until then, don't put your tongue on anything hanging from a FiOS ONT.
— Phil Harvey, Editor, Light Reading