Our phone was out of service beginning last Saturday. We checked the line into the house and it didn’t work so we knew it was an outside line problem. I called Verizon customer service for repairs and I explained the situation. I also told customer service that this was 2nd time within a month that this line had not worked. I was told by Verizon that they are updating all of their lines and that their lines are old and are eaten through by squirrels and that they are in the process of updating their lines with FIOS – so if I wanted to be guaranteed having phone service I should call their business office and order FIOS. I asked the service person if what I was hearing was accurate that unless I upgraded to FIOS Verizon was telling me they could not say that I would have working phone service on a regular basis and she replied if I wanted to be sure to have a working phone I should upgrade to FIOS.
— From a Verizon customer
First of all squirrels have better taste. They do have a habit of wanting to chew on stuff so it is not out of the realm of possibility. But I bet the more likely cause is Verizon has decided to skimp on POTS outside plant. When I left it was a known fact that VZ was cutting back on COE. They also informed the VP on the PSTN side his budget was being cut. I have heard nothing to contradict that view.
It might be squirrels, but more likely in some one’s head.
Plain old telephone service has a future in museums. The fact is if you are under the age of 80, you are likely to see the end of POTS in American cities. While labor intensive, as the service ramps down, less hands are needed to keep it working.
Up to 700 technicians and other Qwest Communications employees who work on traditional land telephone lines have been offered voluntary buyouts, the company announced Tuesday.
Qwest Communications International Inc. announced the job cuts as it sees thousands of customers abandon traditional phone lines in favor of other services, including those offered through wireless and cable companies.
The buyouts are being offered to less than 2 percent of Qwest’s total work force of 36,843.
Based in Denver, Qwest is the primary telephone service provider in 14 mostly Western states and operates a fiber optic network. It has 12.78 million land lines, a number that dropped 7.3 percent last year from the total in 2006.
“That’s an industrywide trend,” said Qwest spokesman Bob Toevs. “Everybody in the business has been facing that in light of competition.”
The offer is expected to be completed March 27. (from Wired)
While a sad fate for those involved, the telcos are generous compared to most other industries in offering buyouts instead of random pink slips.