Verizon Responds To Public Records Request With More Than Three Hundred Totally Blacked-Out Pages

Voice Link became contentious earlier this year when Verizon proposed to replace its badly damaged, traditional network with Voice Link on Fire Island and in other communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. Residents vociferously objected, winning support from advocacy groups, the state attorney general and Verizon’s own unionized employees. Verizon ended up agreeing to provide Fire Island with high-speed, fiber optic-based broadband service known as FiOS, as well as the wireless service.

It was a happy ending for Fire Island residents, but advocates believe the battle over replacing the traditional phone network in the rest of the country is just beginning. “The fact of the matter is for telephone customers throughout Verizon’s territory and especially in New York, Verizon is using both appropriate and inappropriate means to get people off the wireline system and onto wireless,” said Richard Brodsky, an attorney representing Common Cause New York, the Communication Workers of America, Region 1, Consumers Union and the Fire Island Association.

Verizon responded to the advocate’s Freedom of Information request with more than 300 fully redacted pages. Among other documents, Verizon claimed as a “trade secret” a list of Voice Link deployments, a Voice Link leader’s guide and a document about overcoming customers’ objections to Voice Link and responding to requests to return to copper.

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