Top BPU commissioner will head probe into Verizon's copper-line problems in South Jersey
by Bob Fernandez
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities said on Monday that its top commissioner, Richard R. Mroz, will lead a probe into copper-line service complaints against Verizon Communications Inc. in parts of South Jersey.
More than a dozen towns filed a petition last year claiming that Verizon has failed to maintain its copper phone lines, leading to bad phone connections and slow internet speeds. Residents say they lose phone service in the rain and during foggy days.
I am glad they're investigating, and I believe the Pennsylvania PUC is doing likewise. However, given today's political climate, I am not hopeful anything truly positive will result.
For whatever reason, the regulators seemed to have lost all power (or perhaps willpower) to require a public utility to deliver on its basic service obligations. There have been innumerable reports of major outages and upset government officials, yet Verizon does nothing (except say "get a cellphone" and subscribers suffer without service.
For what it's worth, I know personally several Verizon landline/DSL subscribers who lost service for several weeks at a time, and they _all_ got the run-around from Verizon on repairs. Verizon would say it was the subscribers fault. Then they'd say they'd be coming out and not show up (even if someone waited all day for them.) Eventually, they'd get around to actually fixing the problem, which was always on their end. In two of the cases the subscribers were elderly folks whose need for a working telephone line was critical. (I thought there were laws requiring service for such people, but I guess not).
FWIW, I know a subscriber with a Comcast landline and he also suffers from bad service. It's extremely difficult to get through to Comcast despite their claims of improving customer service. In the meantime, Comcast, despite record profits, has announced a 3% rate increase for next year.