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Verizon’s request for broadband service extension denied

February 8, 2013

 

The state Public Utilities Commission denied Verizon’s recent request for a three-month extension in providing high-speed broadband capacity to Swall Meadows and Crowley Lake.

The communications company was under an order to provide service to the small, hard-to-serve communities, after it violated a Scenic Highway regulation requiring a waiver if cables were not buried along the highway.

The state’s letter, written on Jan. 31 by Paul Clanon, executive director for the PUC, fails to give a deadline for Verizon to provide the service (Verizon originally had a Jan. 28 deadline)—but makes it clear that the PUC believes Verizon’s request for a three-month extension stands on flimsy grounds.

The letter states, in part, “Three developments influenced my decision (to deny this request).

“First, on Jan. 23, communications division staff requested that Verizon provide additional information by Jan. 28, regarding the reasons for the delay in project completion and the timing of its extension request. Verizon has yet to answer this request.

“Second, in a project update provided to communications division staff on Dec. 10, 2012, six weeks before Verizon submitted this extension request, Verizon did not indicate it would need more time to complete this project.

“Finally, the Mono County Board of Supervisors and local residents sent letters opposing the extension.

“Given the lack of information explaining the project delay, coupled with local opposition to Verizon’s extension request, I hereby deny the request. As Verizon missed the deadline to provide broadband service to these communities…

“Despite the missed deadline, Verizon should work to provide broadband service to the communities of Crowley Lake and Swall Meadows as ordered and notify the commission when it begins offering service.”

Verizon did not comment before press time.

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