BY TALI ARBEL
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City has sued Verizon, saying the phone giant broke its 2008 promise to make its Fios cable service available to all city residents.
The city said in a lawsuit Monday that Verizon missed a 2014 deadline to extend wire by every home or apartment building in the city — in technical parlance, “passing” the home. The city also argues that Verizon hasn’t installed service for thousands who requested it.
Verizon disagrees with the city’s definition of “passing” a home and says it has done its job. Spokesman Ray McConville said Monday that Verizon sees “passed” as meaning that it can reach every home, provided a landlord gives permission. Verizon wants to reach some buildings through other buildings.
In a letter to the city Friday, Verizon says 2.2 million households have access to Fios, a phone, cable and high-speed internet network. Verizon said Monday that it is committed to expanding Fios availability to the city’s remaining 1 million households.
The lawsuit was filed in a New York state court.
Verizon has focused more on its wireless business since Fios’ debut in 2005. The company has sold blocks of its home phone, internet and cable business, and it largely stopped building Fios out to new areas in 2010, although it reached a new deal with Boston last year.
Monday’s lawsuit is not the first time that Verizon has brushed up against government over the Fios rollout. A group of mayors in the Northeast, including New York’s Bill de Blasio, sent Verizon a letter in 2015 complaining that millions of their residents lacked Fios service.
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