Thursday, September 24, 2009

Victory Over Verizon!

Verizon has agreed to move those pesky FiOS boxes!

Contra Costa Times story here.











*Update* 4:31 p.m.

Here is a letter on the issue from Jerry Askew of GHSNC:

Good News! Verizon has tentatively agreed to relocate all of their low-mounted FiOS boxes in the City of Los Angeles. This is a huge win for our community as it will eliminate the graffiti nuisance and various hazards presented by the boxes. The agreement will be finalized at the Board of Public Works meeting on Friday, September 25th (see meeting information at the end of this email).

Many cabinets can simply be raised above 8ft. on the pole. Some cabinets will need to be moved to another pole or converted to a ground-mounted cabinet (aka an Above Ground Facility or "AGF"). AGFs require a permit, notification of adjoining property owners and a public hearing. Accordingly, those may take some time to complete. There will be a minor interruption of service for Verizon's customers while their box is being raised, moved or converted. In short, this is a complex process and will take some time to complete if it is to be done correctly.

Here are some highlights of the plan:

Engineering and planning will begin immediately. Some boxes may be moved immediately.
By 1/1/2010 (apx. 90 days), Verizon will deliver a complete inventory, identifying any locations that cannot be raised on the same pole. At that time, Verizon will begin requesting permits wherever AGFs are needed.
Relocations will begin in earnest in January 2010.
Verizon will make their best effort to schedule appointments with affected customers in order to minimize any service disruption.
All boxes, including AGF conversions, will be complete by the end of 2010.
Verizon will accept input from the community in prioritizing the relocations.
We will meet with Public Works and Verizon in January, June and December 2010 to monitor progress.
I believe that the proposal is fair. Although I would like to see the boxes moved immediately, I realize that there is more to it than raising the box and coiling the excess cable. As proposed, Verizon will be moving four or five boxes per week. This schedule is actually quite aggressive.

There has been some news coverage of the issue If you would like to read more, please see the article on the Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council website. There are links there to a story in the Daily News and CBS video.

I would like to thank the National Federation of the Blind, the California Council of the Blind, Therapeutic Living Centers for the Blind, the Braille Institute, the American Council of the Blind and Guide Dogs of America. Their involvement was what made this agreement possible.

The Board of Public Works will hear this issue at their regular meeting on September 25th at 9:30am:

Edward R. Roybal BPW Session Room
Room 350 City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
Thank you

Jerry Askew
Member, Board of Directors
Granada Hills South Neighborhood Council

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