October 19, 2011 | 04:32 PMVerizon will not offer FiOS — phone, Internet and television service — to Brookhaven residents because the company wants to focus on its current commitments to other villages, towns and cities, Verizon Director of Media Relations John Bonomo said this week.
Brookhaven Supervisor Mark Lesko said he has tried contacting Verizon representatives both by phone and through letters over the past two years, but his communications were left unanswered.
"It was clear to me that Verizon had no plan or interest in building out its network in Brookhaven," he said.
Bonomo said the company has franchise agreements with 182 villages, towns and cities across New York State and in New York City to build out 100 percent of each area within five years. Verizon will not offer FiOS to Brookhaven, Bonomo said, because it wants to make sure all current commitments are reached.
"We understand that Long Islanders don't like Cablevision," Bonomo said. "We would like to provide an alternative, but at the moment we are not seeking any franchises."
Verizon has surpassed its goal of servicing 18 million homes across its coverage area in the United States, spending $23 billion in building the FiOS network. Regardless of the coverage area, any resident can still get its standard telephone service or high-speed Internet, but the FiOS Triple Play package is not available in all areas.
Lesko said Verizon is more interested in providing the service to residents who live in denser areas, such as downtowns, but if the company brought FiOS to Brookhaven, it would create more jobs and provide price competition.
Councilwoman Jane Bonner (C-Rocky Point) addressed what one frustrated resident said about not being able to get Verizon FiOS. The man who spoke at the Oct. 10 Meet the Candidates Night in Sound Beach said he would like competition between Verizon and Cablevision to lower his cable bill.
"As much as we want the competition and we want them to sit down at the table, they haven't responded to our requests," Bonner said.
The town already has a franchise agreement with Cablevision, so the town would look for a parallel or equivalent agreement with Verizon.
The supervisor said Verizon doesn't have plans in its capital budget to build out Brookhaven but wants the company to at least negotiate with the town.
"At least give us a chance to pitch Verizon and make it financially attractive to Brookhaven as opposed to not giving us a chance at all," Lesko said. "I think that's unacceptable."