N.J. utility regulator to hold hearing on complaints by municipalities against Verizon

16 New Jersey towns say Verizon is not maintaining its landline service. (Joe Hernandez/WHYY)

16 New Jersey towns say Verizon is not maintaining its landline service. (Joe Hernandez/WHYY)

The New Jersey state Board of Public Utilities will hold a hearing in the southern part of the state for residents experiencing problems with their Verizon landline and Internet service.

Sixteen towns petitioned the NJ BPU to investigate Verizon in November, claiming the telecom giant has failed to maintain its copper wire infrastructure in rural parts of South Jersey, leading to crackly and occasionally nonexistent phone and Internet service.

“I’ve spoken on their landlines directly and been in their houses, and it’s not acceptable,” Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Cape May, told NewsWorks earlier this month.

Van Drew will introduce a bill that would allow the Legislature to join the towns in their call for an investigation.

Verizon has repeatedly said it spends millions of dollars each year maintaining its copper wire infrastructure in South Jersey.

The NJ BPU has not set a location or a date for the public hearing.

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