Verizon's Plan to Meet Electrical Codes Questioned
August 7th, 2008

Verizon failed to meet electric codes at certain locations when laying its FiOS service in the city, it was revealed last month when the franchise for the company’s cable service came up for approval at the New York State Public Service Commission. According to the Public Utility Law Project’s blog, which reported on the hearing, some of their installations weren’t properly grounded and could have put the public or workers at risk.

One commissioner, Patricia Acampora, actually voted against the franchise. She said she wan’t provided with enough time to look over Verizon’s plan to address the revelation and monitor compliance – which was delivered the day before the vote. Another commissioner, Cheryl Buley, voted in favor of the franchise with the understanding that there is a clear requirement for the company to meet all applicable codes. It passed four-to-one.

The PULP blog also pointed out that Common Cause submitted a joint statement with a number of other groups that the public was not being given enough notice for such a large deal. But the commission’s staff countered that it had followed all rules regarding public comment periods.

By on August 7, 2008, 4:50 pm
In category: Tech | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Verizon's Plan to Meet Electrical Codes Questioned”

  1. Chris Keeley Says:
    August 8th, 2008 at 8:49 am

    Common Cause, Consumers Union, NYPIRG, and People’s Production House joined together to raise concerns about the substance of the Verizon-NYC franchise agreement, as well as the process through which the agreement was awarded.

    On July 16, the day the state Public Service Commission approved the franchise agreement, the PSC also posted Verizon’s “Network Review Plan,” which lays out Verizon’s plans to self-police its “high proportion” of installations that currently do not meet the standards of the National Electric Code, or the company’s own Methods and Procedures.

    The July 16 franchise approval was contingent on this Network Review Plan, but the plan itself was only submitted the night before the meeting. There is a need to reiterate that Common Cause and other interested partners did not have time to review this Plan. As mentioned above, neither did Commissioner Patricia Acampora, a Pataki appointee and former Chair of the PSC, who actually voted against the agreement.

    The Plan is currently open for public comment until September 20. The entire Network Review Plan is available at:

    This is a matter of public safety, public process, and the public good. We invite you to join us to improve Verizon’s Plan and stand strong for cable consumers and good government practices as we look towards the franchise renewals with Time Warner and Cablevision in the next few months.

    We will also be looking towards strong, consumer-oriented appointments to the PSC when the terms of two commissioners lapse in early 2009.

    If you are interested to get involved, please contact me at 212-691-6421 or ckeeley(at)

    -Chris Keeley
    Associate Director
    Common Cause/New York

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