Bruce Kushnick has been fighting Verizon in the Northeast for years through is TeleTruth organization. Here is the latest:
Verizon, New Jersey has filed to increase various costs of local phone service. The New Jersey Board of Utilities (BPU) should not accept Verizon's proposal to raise local rates. It violates every 'fair and reasonable' statute and directly harms Verizon residential and small business wireline customers. We also claim that misleading data has been submitted by Verizon in its requirement to have 100% of the state rewired with 45mbps services (in both directions) by 2010 and that FiOS is harming the PSTN - Public Switched Telephone Network. Thus, customer phone bill increases are very likely funding a cable service. Verizon's intentions --- Increases of 79% for local residential service, 70% for small businesses, 800% for directory assistance, and 40%-70% per line-item is now being considered "fair and reasonable". This is in contrast to the exorbitant profits from these services. Caller ID and non-published telephone numbers have a 5,695% and 36,900% profit margins, respectively. In fact, when examining a total local service bill, including all of the required charges, there has been a 304% increase in local service in New Jersey since 1982, (347% for some customers). Verizon lies when it claims that they have not had an increase to its residential basic exchange service since 1985. We have tracked over 5 different increases since 2003, all documented on phone bills. It is clear that by raising these rates, there is no serious local service competition to stop their implementation. Prices should have seen serious declines as the costs of offering local service has continuously decreased, such as major cuts in staffing or the aging of the networks. Meanwhile, the local service profits have skyrocketed. And now, FiOS may be funded illegally through the profits of local service. FiOS is a cable and 'interstate information service' and the Commission is supposed to be protecting LOCAL SERVICE, not helping to illegally fund a cable project that is essentially stealing customers and resources from the PSTN -- Public Switched Telephone Network. We also note that in previous testimony and complaints with the BPU, Teletruth showed that Verizon has been submitting falsified documents, that it misled the public and owes over $5-$6 billion for financial incentives it was supposed to use for network upgrades of the PSTN. Read the rest here: www.newnetworks.com/teletruthtestimonyverizon.htm
It's no joke that after mergers, layoffs, pension splicing, and soaring profits, these companies are still asking for rate increases --- and getting them!