SUMMARY: Verizon PA's Broadband Scandal -- A Quadruple Bait-and-Switch

06/08/2015 01:03 am ET | Updated Jun 07, 2016

Bait & Switch

  1. First Bait & Switch -- Instead of rolling out fiber optic services, Verizon deployed DSL over the old copper wires from 1996-2002.
  2. Second Bait & Switch -- Because of weasel room in the original law, Verizon was able to change the commitment from 45 Mbps in both directions to 1.5 Mbps in one direction.
  3. Third Bait & Switch -- In 2011, Verizon got the State to agree to let it use any technology including Verizon Wireless, to fulfill this obligation.
  4. Fourth Bait-&-Switch --As we uncovered in New York, in PA, the company appears to be cross-subsidizing its wireless networks with monies that should have been used for the wired networks.


  • The Commitment -- Universal broadband to 100% of Verizon PA, capable of 45 Mbps in both directions by 2015. Rural, urban and suburban areas are to be treated the same.
  • 96% Complete? -- Verizon PA claims it has completed 96% of their broadband obligation and will complete the task by the end of 2015.
  • 37% can get FiOS -- We estimate that FiOS fiber optic services only reaches 37.5% of 'homes and businesses'; 46% if you just count 'households'.
  • DSL used to fulfill obligations -- Verizon includes DSL in their 'commitment', which rides over the old existing utility copper wires.
  • Verizon Wireless is substituting for wired, fibered networks --Verizon also uses wireless as a substitute for doing wired upgrades since 2011.
  • Overcharging -- Customers paid about $18 billion for this upgrade. State laws were changed to give the company more profits (read higher phone rates) and tax perks that were to be used to replace the state's public utility copper wires with fiber optic infrastructure.
  • 100% of phone customers paid for networks most will never get -- There were never any audits of Verizon's financial books, not refunds for the failure to properly upgrade the State utility networks, and the majority paid thousands of dollars for services they will never get