Ann Gallelli: Village Residents Deserve Communications Choices

To the Editor,

Recently, New York City decided to litigate against Verizon for their alleged failure to complete the terms of a FIOS contract they had with the city. The article reminded me of Croton’s own situation with Verizon when, after installing FIOS infrastructure throughout the Village, they made a corporate decision to not engage in any more FIOS contracts with municipalities. Since many residents still ask why we do not have FIOS service in the Village, I thought it might be worthwhile to review what happened.
At the time (2007), the Village invited Verizon to engage in a contract to provide local competition for television services. Cablevision was, and is, the only provider with a contract with the Village. The Village hired specialized legal counsel to negotiate with Verizon and negotiations proceeded for a while. The Village even made a change to its local Telecommunications law to accommodate Verizon. Unexpectedly for the Village, Verizon broke off the discussions. With many residents having an expectation that they would be able to the choice of having FIOS service, the Village tried to re-engage with the company but to no avail.
It turned out that Verizon’s decision affected many municipalities in the area as well as major cities across the country. Those municipalities that already had a contract for FIOS service continued to be served (ex. Town of Cortlandt ) but all others no longer had the option.
Over the years since, some residents have pursued their own investigation of what happened but all have arrived at the same place; Verizon is not continuing the business of providing new FIOS service anywhere. They have made a commitment to redirect their resources to the wireless environment.
As I feel having choices is good for the Village, as a Trustee, I will keep looking for opportunities to expand residents’ options in the future.

Ann Gallelli