Verizon has repeatedly claimed that utility rules would harm investment in broadband networks, urging the Federal Communications Commission to avoid imposing new regulations. Yet Verizon’s statements to the FCC have avoided mentioning that its own utility-style common carrier status helped the company charge landline phone customers higher prices to fund construction of the fiber network over which it provides FiOS Internet and TV.
That’s the crux of a complaint by telecom analyst Bruce Kushnick of New Networks Institute and audit director Tom Allibone of telecom customer advocacy group Teletruth. They are petitioning the FCC to investigate Verizon for perjury; the petition is available online and will be filed with the FCC tomorrow, Kushnick says.
“Bottom line—We caught the culprit red-handed,” Kushnick and Allibone wrote. “It is an open and shut case. Verizon either did or did not tell the FCC that their entire current investment in fiber optics is based entirely on using the Title II [common carrier] classification. Or that the Verizon companies have made phone customers ‘de facto’ investors by using Title II… We allege that Verizon did deceive the FCC. These material misrepresentations taint every FCC decision and policy affecting Verizon’s regulatory status, but most importantly now the Open Internet [net neutrality] Proceeding.”
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