New York is suing Verizon over poor fiber rollout

Fios TV Package
Edw/Shutterstock
New York City is suing Verizon over allegedly failed promises to bring fiber internet access to every household in the city by mid-2014. Unsurprisingly, Verizon has disputed the claim, though in doing so it has to contend with its initial contract, since with more than a million homes still without access to FiOS, its fiber-based service, it may struggle to argue that it has abided by its terms.

The 2008 contract signed by the city and Verizon gave the telecom company a citywide franchise in exchange for it completing a universal rollout of its FiOS service by mid-2014. That meant extending it to an estimated 3.1 million homes, but to date only 2.2 million can access it.

While technically the original agreement only extended to cable TV, FiOS can also be used for fiber-based internet connections, and as a result Verizon’s slow timetable has left many people in one of the most developed cities in the world with poor internet access. The dispute claims that Verizon actively ignored requests from some consumers to install FiOS in their buildings.

In a public response to the suit, Verizon stated that some building owners refused to give it access to the required infrastructure for installing such services and that it has upheld its end of the contract “100 percent,” as per ArsTechnica. It also argues that its definition of what constitutes available access is different from the definition being put forth by the city, suggesting that as long as fiber is close enough to a building, it could technically be installed there within a reasonable time, and was therefore “available.”

Perhaps trying to head the city off at the pass, the company has pledged to invest a further billion dollars in NYC fiber infrastructure over the next four years and has promised once again to extend FiOS access to all New Yorkers by 2021.

That may be too little too late. Verizon is already nearly three years behind on its initial pledge and according to the terms of its agreement, it could face monetary damages. NYC admits that the definition of what constitutes available fiber was not outlined in the initial contract, but argues that that definition is well understood and established within the telecoms industry and in that context, Verizon is in breach of its contract.

The city also claims that in some cases Verizon demanded exclusive contracts for buildings before giving the go-ahead to provide its FiOS service there, even though the FCC bans such deals for video service in buildings with multiple dwellings.

Mobile

5G is going to cost you a few bucks more, at least on Verizon

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (March 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Mobile

Pre-orders open for the 5G Moto Mod, making the Moto Z3 fully 5G-compatibile

5G is the future of mobile internet, and you've probably heard about the huge speed increases the new standard will bring. But not every phone will be capable of accessing 5G speeds. Here's every phone that supports 5G.
Computing

Is 14 inches the perfect size for a laptop? These 4 laptops might convince you

If you're looking for the best 14-inch laptops, there are a number of factors to consider. You want good battery life, an attractive screen, solid performance, and a good build. Our favorites that do all that and more.
Gaming

Get Corsair’s best mechanical keyboard at a decent discount

From March 17 to 23, you can get one of the best mechanical keyboards around at a great price. The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is normally $200, but this week you can pick one up from Amazon for $160.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Need more from your conference white board? The Surface Hub 2 should have it

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Computing

Teens using Google Docs as the modern version of passing notes in class

Google Docs is reportedly being used by teens as a secret communications app. Instead of passing notes, students are now using the software's live chat function or comment boxes to talk with their friends while in the middle of classes.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Computing

Windows updates shouldn't cause problems, but if they do, here's how to fix them

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Computing

Here’s how you can watch today’s Nvidia GTC 2019 keynote live

Nvidia's rumored 7nm Ampere graphics could debut soon. The company will be kicking off its GPU Technology conference at 2 p.m. PT today, Monday, March 18, and you can watch the opening keynote here.
Computing

After fourth attack, hacker puts personal records of 26M people up for sale

A serial hacker going by the name of Gnosticplayers is selling the personal data of 26 million people who have been using the services of six different companies from across the world.
Computing

HP’s Omen Mindframe headset keeps your ears chill, but might leave you lukewarm

The Omen Mindframe headset uses HP's FrostCap technology to keep ears cool during long gaming sections. While it delivers on keeping ears cool, it forgets some of the essentials of a quality gaming headset.