Verizon says landlords blocking Lower Manhattan fiber-optic rewiring

Sandy flood waters in Lower Manhattan
Sandy flood waters in Lower Manhattan

Verizon, attempting to replace all underground copper wiring in Lower Manhattan with fiber-optic cables in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, says it has run into problems with landlords, the telecommunications firm said in a petition to state regulators. Some landlords have allegedly refused to let Verizon through their doors altogether, while others have demanded fees for entry, the New York Times reported.

Unnamed sources told the Times that some landlords had asked for $150 per apartment, and in large properties that can add up.

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As previously reported, Sandy’s storm surge destroyed a critical mass of copper wiring. Some 95 percent of Lower Manhattan’s network ran on the copper wiring.

Some landlords told the Times that they don’t feel rushed to let Verizon into their properties to begin laying wires in the stairways and halls. Two of the properties listed in The Petition Are 2 Gold Street and 201 Pearl Street. Those buildings are not currently inhabitable and the owner, TF Cornerstone, told the Times that the first priority for them is to get heat, hot water and electrical systems back in working order. [NYT]Zachary Kussin