Friday, January 08, 2010

FCC: Verizon Service Quality Worse than Other Regional Bells

In a report released by the FCC at the end of December 2009 entitled “Quality of Service of Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers,” Verizon ranked poorly across all of its territories. The report covered the service quality of Verizon (including Verizon GTE, Verizon North, and Verizon South), AT&T (including AT&T Ameritech, AT&T BellSouth, AT&T Pacific, AT&T SNET, and AT&T Southwestern), Qwest, and Embarq from 2003 through 2008. The data did not break out the quality of service by state.

In the category of the average number of residential and business complaints per million access lines, Verizon North and South’s (reported together) numbers grew from 190.7 complaints in 2003 to 386.5 complaints in 2008. AT&T’s BellSouth territory had the next highest numbers: 128.0 and 133.7. In the category measuring the percentage of residential customers dissatisfied with residential repairs, Verizon North and South’s numbers grew from 20.8% in 2003 to 27.5% in 2008. AT&T’s SNET territory had the next highest numbers: 11.9% and 14.0%. In the category measuring the average number of hours out-of-service repairs required, Verizon North and South’s numbers grew from 34.5 hours in 2003 to 42.3 hours in 2008. AT&T’s SNET territory had the next highest numbers: 26.7 and 34.9. Verizon did, however, perform as well or better than its peers in some categories, including initial trouble reports per thousand access lines, installation commitments met, and switch downtime. In nearly all instances, Verizon’s service quality has trended downward during the years covered by the FCC’s report.

Residents of New York should not be surprised by these figures as Verizon-NY has suffered significant service quality performance problems in recent years. See: Verizon Service Quality Performance Lags, Verizon’s Big Push For FiOS Bodes Poorly for Little Guy, and PULP's White Paper - Answering the Call - Does Verizon-New York’s Service Quality Performance Justify Annual Rate Increases?. In fact, in the most recent quarter measured by the New York State Public Service Commission, merely 15.5% of Verizon’s customers who lost service had it restored within 24 hours. It is required to correct 80% of out-of-service issues within 24 hours.

Lou Manuta

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