As of today, the New York City became the plaintiff against Verizon Communications Inc. The city took legal action against its main broadband telecommunications company because of a claim infringement. The authorities signed a cable franchise agreement. According to this contract, Verizon had to hook all households in New York to its fiber optic services by the year of 2014. The complaint of the lawsuit is that the company disregarded around 1 million houses. Thus, the contractual terms have not been met.
Verizon Failed Contractual Terms to Provide All Residential Houses with FiOS
Verizon claimed that it had brought fiber services to all New York residents which according to them amount to a total of 2.2 million households. On the other hand, the city hall keeps track of around 3.1 million residences. The company is still disagreeing with these complaints. Verizon stated that they don’t need to install new fiber system for each building. On the other hand, a 2008 statement of the company clearly affirmed that all locations must have fiber-optic distribution facilities. However, contrary to their claims, there are around 1 million New York houses that cannot access the premium service.
Thus, the government of the city took legal action for the New York State Supreme Court to force the company to resume its work in light of a contractual breach. The agreement was signed in 2008 and offered Verizon a cable television franchise throughout the entire city. In return, the company had to connect all households to its fiber network. The deadline was June 30, 2014.
Before the Decision to Take Legal Action, New York Tried Other Ways
In June 2015, the department of information technology and telecommunications of the city (DoITT) conducted an audit. According to their report, Verizon didn’t manage to honor its contractual obligations. The dispute went nowhere. In September 2016, the city put the company in default of the agreement. The contract clearly stipulates that the city is entitled to financial indemnities if the company doesn’t perform the obligatory services.
Verizon’s defensive explanation revolves around the meaning of the word “pass.” Thus, the contract does mention that all homes must be passed with fiber. However, even though not all locations have the necessary wires, Verizon claimed that the nearby fiber systems cover all of them. Moreover, the company stated that it did install the service to all homes unless the process would have taken too much time and they didn’t obtain access to the building from landlords.
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