Verizon owes the state of New Jersey some broadband Internet. They promised 45Mbps Internet access, and collected money for the broadband, but didn’t deliver. Now they’re being asked to pay up, and Verizon is arguing that they don’t have to. Verizon has apparently flooded the NJ Board of Public Utilities with letters to sway them, but the letters aren’t being sent directly from Verizon. Instead, it seems Verizon has chosen to write these letters on behalf of their customers, without their permission. The letters were all identical, and those who supposedly wrote them said they sent no such letters. Verizon decided that since these people give them money, they can speak for them. This isn’t a conspiracy theory either, Verizon even admitted to doing it themselves.
Verizon entered an agreement to spread broadband Internet across the entire state of New Jersey by 2010. They’re still trying to renege on that promise. The original agreement had them installing 45 Mbps fiber optic broadband across the entire state. For this service, the state allowed Verizon to increase their rates. In total, customers have paid Verizon over $15 billion for the promised broadband. That amount, when divided up, equates to between $4,000 and $5,000 per household. Verizon took these people’s money, on the promise of a new service, and then they used their names to put out fake letters requesting that Verizon could be let off the hook. These customers were deceived into putting their names on a list, not being told what it was actually for, told if was actually to increase efforts for broadband access.
Verizon was confronted about these practices, to which they claimed that other companies do this as well. Strangely, this doesn’t make the customers who coughed up over $15 billion feel any better. First Verizon gets rid of Net Neutrality, now they rob their customers by fighting their legal obligations. It seems they’re trying to challenge Comcast for “most hated company in America”.