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Philadelphia Councilman Thinks Verizon May Be Foot-Dragging On FiOS Construction

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(Philadelphia city councilman James Kenney.   Photo from City of Phila. TV)

(Philadelphia city councilman James Kenney. Photo from City of Phila. TV)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia City Council plans a hearing on whether Verizon is moving quickly enough in bringing its “Fios” fiber-optic cable service into the city’s lower income neighborhoods.

Calling for the hearing is councilman Jim Kenney, who says he has information that Verizon is not honoring its Fios buildout plan agreed upon three years ago with City Council.

“We’ve had information coming from inside the company that says they may not be following what they committed to do when we granted the franchise,” Kenney said today.

Specifically, Kenney is concerned that lower-income neighborhoods are low on Verizon’s priority list.

“We were happy to have competition with our current major cable provider, Comcast.  But we want to make sure that every neighborhood in the city is getting built out with the Fios, and not just neighborhoods that can afford to pay the fees,” he said.

A spokesman for Verizon says the firm will “gladly” provide Council with whatever information it can under the terms of the 2009 franchise agreement.  He said the Fios buildout already reaches about one-third of all city households, and Verizon remains committed to its plan for complete citywide coverage by 2016.

The spokesman says Verizon has already deployed to different parts of the city, regardless of income level.

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