By Ellis Nassour
Verizon has put over 70 West Village residents into nightmare mode.
The interruption of phone/internet service from ‘The Company that Simply Doesn’t Care About the Village’ began on March 26th and hasn’t been resolved. In my building on Horatio Street, there are five units without service, including a unit with a resident who just returned from Urgent Care. This outage has affected the ability of numerous residents to work from home. I understand that even the venerable publisher of WestView News was without phone service. This is the third outage since January, and one of the many we have experienced for years—usually following heavy rain or snow.
This time, as was the case the last time, the outage is due to a sliced cable on Gansevoort Street. It was located weeks ago but Verizon repairmen were denied access to one of the buildings under renovation and construction on the south side of the street until at least late the next day. It was the same location where the other recently-sliced cable was located. One might wonder why, in the street and in such locations, Verizon doesn’t put its cables in protective casings.
Sadly, Verizon teases the West Village with its trucks promoting FIOS but refuses to replace the corroded copper wiring in the street and in numerous buildings dating back to the 1940s. Two recent cable repair workers said Verizon is only interested in FIOS. In our basement, the cable box has over 80 tags and jacks that have been used to double and triple up on the working lines. Now, according to the latest repair visit, there isn’t a cable that can be jacked into.
We have organized a group to call Verizon, at (800) 837-4966, to demand an end to this outage and better service. It’s bad enough that we have the worst bus service in the City with the M11 line (to help solve the problem the MTA added the M12 bus that goes up the West Side Highway, virtually empty, several times a day to Columbus Circle). Now, adding more misery to an already horrible situation, there are two establishments in the Meatpacking District with strippers! Do we want a Bourbon Street in our neighborhood?
Gansevoort Plaza and 9th Avenue from 18th Street to Jane Street is a virtual construction zone, with endless noise, street slicings, and digs. It’s a wonder that we haven’t had a major water main break.
Please help shame Verizon with your calls and even letters to the WestView publisher. Calls to local representatives, our Borough President, and Community Board 2 might also help. Area residents have pleaded with the company for years about bettering the situation—to no avail.
George, hopefully, you will use the power and prestige of WestView News to get us a quicker solution.
Verizon is now saying that the outage cannot be fixed until May 22nd! That is better than the original July date. Still, it is shameful that in one of the world’s greatest cities we have such an inefficient phone/internet company (the only one in charge of the street cables)!