The war over copper-to-IP is heating up, and accusations are flying that Verizon is deliberately neglecting its traditional infrastructure to force customers into unreliable Internet-based service.
Verizon is denying the claims made last month by The Utility Reform Network (TURN), which filed an emergency motion with the California Public Utilities Commission.
In its request, TURN asked the Commission to “order Verizon to repair the service of copper-based landline telephone customers who have requested repair or wish to retain the copper services they were cut off of.”
A Verizon spokesperson spoke out against the filing, stating the transition to IP-based networks actually improves the quality of service in areas plagued with copper infrastructure issues. All customers are asked for permission before their services are migrated, and if they’re unhappy, they can be transferred back, said Verizon’s Jarryd Gonzales.
However, a former Verizon copper repair center employee told a contradictory tale at a recent public hearing, stating some customers are not being given a choice and are being forced into its Voice Link product. Those who refuse to transition are left without service.
Voice Link has been highly criticized for its unreliability, especially during power outages, which puts 911 service in limbo. It does not support DSL, medical alert or alarm monitoring.
*Source: Ars Technica