City Council checks on Verizon’s FIOS progress

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Verizon workers make their feelings known during Friday's City Council hearing. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Verizon workers make their feelings known during Friday's City Council hearing. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

A Philadelphia City Council hearing on the Verizon FIOS system build-out in the city brought out several hundred workers now on strike against the communication’s giant. 

Even with the ongoing strike, the telecommunications company should be able to verify whether it has completely wired Philadelphia for its FIOS TV and broadband service, said Councilman Bobby Henon.  That work was supposed to have been completed by the end of February.

“This is Philadelphia … there are 1.5 million people here, it’s a competitive market,” he told representatives of the company. “It’s to your advantage, and it’s to the community’s advantage that they have access.” 

The bulk of the work is complete, according to Danielle Lasky of Verizon Communications Inc., who said 85 percent of the FIOS system has been installed and verified.  The company has had issues with multi-family properties that had exclusive marketing agreements with Comcast, she said.

“When it comes to properties that do not give us access to their locations, we allocate fibers in a coil outside the property whether in a pole or the closest manhole specific to that property location,” Lasky said.

Henon said the timing of the hearing had nothing to do with the Verizon strike. Nearly 40,000 union workers walked off the job in mid-April after talks over a new labor agreement hit an impasse.

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