Verizon issued a press release today to dispel what it referred to as untrue allegations and misinformation about its rollout of FiOS service in Hempstead, N.Y. Executives with responsibilities covering Long Island tend to develop thick skins, because Long Island business can get as rough and tumble as Long Island politics. Somebody apparently got under Verizon’s skin.
Verizon asserted it will roll out service to all of Hempstead, countering information that only parts of the town will be covered.
“These allegations are completely untrue,” said Monica Azare, Verizon senior vice president for New York, “and they serve only to protect the incumbent cable operator. Redlining violates not only the law, but the agreement we have negotiated with the Town of Hempstead itself. We don’t do it. We never have and we never will. Period.”
Azare accused the New York State Cable TV Association of spreading the information. “And let’s not kid ourselves, on Long Island, that’s Cablevision. Cablevision seeks to hold onto monopoly power here in Nassau, across Long Island and elsewhere. By their actions, Cablevision is denying residents – their own friends and neighbors here on Long Island – the opportunity to have a choice in their TV provider,” she said.
By the end of this year, Verizon will cover about 65 percent of the town, and by the end of 2007, up to 87 percent of both the franchise area and town will be served by fiber. The current franchise agreement Verizon has with the town and New York State Public Service Commission requirements call for Verizon to have the entire town served by fiber within five years. “And we will do that,” Azare said.
Verizon is also building fiber systems in the nearby Long Island towns of Freeport, Roosevelt, Baldwin, Merrick, Elmont and Franklin Square.