Preparing update to FiOS. Images_of_Money After the communications infrastructure of Fire Island was wiped out by Hurricane Sandy, Verizon decided it didn’t want to rebuild severely damaged wireline phone networks. Instead, residents would have to settle for a new wireless product called Voice Link.

The plan faced massive outcry from residents, advocacy groups and government officials.

There wasn’t anything wrong with providing Voice Link as an option, but Verizon’s plan to make wireless the only choice on the western part of the island, where the damage was worst, was a shock.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused Verizon of trying to “depart from a century of telephone service regulation” by going wireless-only. Residents called the wireless service substandard, and Schneiderman said it would deprive customers of the ability to use wireline-dependent services such as fax machines, alarm systems, medical alert devices, and DSL. Battery life was also a concern, especially during blackouts.     

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