For Immediate Release January 13, 2016
For More Information Contact: Kim Wood 856-453-2165
County Takes Lead to Petition BPU
Bridgeton, NJ - The County of Cumberland has agreed to act as the lead agency on behalf of 16 communities in South Jersey to pursue a petition before the Board of Public Utilities against Verizon New Jersey in an effort to compel Verizon to continue to maintain copper landline services. Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joe Derella said, “Verizon is attempting to discontinue maintenance of copper landlines which means that telephone and telecommunication services, including internet service through copper landlines will ultimately deteriorate and fail. At that point telecommunications may be unavailable and unless telephone service through Comcast or cell phone service is available there may be no landline coverage at all in many communities. The County and 16 communities are fighting against the effort by Verizon to discontinue landline maintenance”.
County Counsel Ted Baker said, “The County believes that the problem is more widespread than just the 16 communities involved in this petition. The County of Cumberland would like residents who are experiencing landline telephone and telecommunication problems to report them to the County so that the County may bring these problems to the attention of the Board of Public Utilities.”
Deputy Director Darlene Barber said, “A page on the County website has been set up to allow any person who may be experiencing problems with telephone and telecommunication services to inform us of the problems in order to allow us to present this information to the Board of Public Utilities. The information can be provided by going to the Cumberland County website (www.co.cumberland.nj.us) and clicking on the Verizon Questionnaire line and filling out the information requested”.
Mr. Baker said, “We are hopeful that residents from all communities will present information regarding these problems and to give us a more comprehensive picture of the scope of the problem and then numbers of people who are experiencing these problems. Typically, landline service which is deteriorating will not function well during precipitation events, fog, rain, snow, sleet, etc. and static, humming or other noises will interfere with a user’s ability to communicate over the copper lines and in some instances a dial tone may not be able to be achieved. With this information the County of Cumberland hopes to be able to force Verizon to continue to maintain these landlines until fiber optic service is built out throughout the State of New Jersey.”