As Verizon tries to replace copper wires destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, it’s facing resistance from lower Manhattan landlords. The New York Times reports that the company wrote to the NYS Public Service Commission, stating that many buildings refuse to let Verizon in or demand excessive compensation to install fiber optic cables. Ralph Abecassis from DSA Management, the firm that manages 11 Maiden Lane, says that their tenants never lost phone service during Hurricane Sandy and didn’t need the additional services that Verizon wanted to provide, but did not respond to inquiries about a demand for payment.
As Verizon replaces the damaged copper wire with fiber optic cables, it gives them the opportunity to offer a “triple play” combination of telephone, broadband and cable TV service. But luxury high-rises at 2 Gold Street and 201 Pearl Street have been uninhabitable since the storm. Building spokesperson Frank Marino told The Times in a statement that they were surprised by Verizon’s action, especially since there aren’t any tenants occupying the building and haven’t “conditioned Verizon’s access on unreasonable terms.”