HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today released an audit on the implementation of Verizon Pennsylvania Inc.’s Network Modernization Plan (NMP) where the company has committed to 100 percent broadband availability by 2015.
The Commission voted unanimously to release the audit report and the company’s response. The audit found that Verizon has met most of its NMP commitments and is generally compliant with the Commission’s reporting guidelines.
The purpose of the audit was to provide a comprehensive overview to determine whether the Verizon sixth biennial update on its high-speed Internet deployment is accurate and if the company is complying with other biennial update reporting rules required under state law. The findings include:
- Verizon has met all of its NMP commitments through 2006 with the exception of the commitment to make high-speed Internet facilities available for 100 percent of public school, health care facilities and industrial parks;
- Verizon’s actual high-speed Internet availability as of Dec. 31, 2006, was higher than reported;
- Some numbers reported in the company’s biennial report may be incorrect that some numbers are based on assumption rather than actual data, or derived from incomplete or inaccurate data sources; and
- Some information reported provides an incomplete picture of the status of the company’s compliance with its NMP commitment.
The audit report includes 23 recommendations. Verizon agrees with 14 of the recommendations, agrees in part with two and disagrees with seven. The PUC expects Verizon to implement the recommendations that they accepted and to participate in a workshop with Commission staff to address the remaining unresolved recommendations and issues. Within 120 days, the workshop results including proposed agreements will be submitted to the PUC for approval.
In July 2003, the Commission approved a Network Modernization Plan for Verizon that included a high-speed Internet deployment schedule. The PUC approved Verizon’s plan to, at a minimum, deploy broadband at a speed of at least 1.544 megabits per second (mbps) following this schedule: 50 percent of each rural, suburban and urban exchange by 2004; 60 percent by 2006; 70 percent by 2008; 80 percent by 2010; 90 percent by 2012; and 100 percent by 2015.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our Web site at www.puc.state.pa.us.
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Docket No. D-06SPA022