Customers Ask CenturyLink to Help End Robocalls

century link

The FCC has confirmed that landline operators can now offer robocall-blocking technology to their users, but most of them have chosen not to do so. Recently, a petition has been filed where more than 500,000 customers have signed and sent their complaints to the company. This act is hoping to find a solution for the customers fed up with unwanted interruptions.

As part of its current End Robocalls campaign, CU dragged plenty of boxes of petition pages to the CenturyLink’s front door at their office in Phoenix.

“What we wanted to do is deliver a petition from over half a million people, calling on CenturyLink to provide customers with free and effective tools to end robocalls,” explained Tim Marvin, who has headed up the anti-robocall campaign for CU.

“My husband and I are retired, so when we start getting calls at eight in the morning it’s very disruptive,” said Sarah, a CenturyLink customer who was on hand for the petition delivery. “My mother is 100 years old, and she gets the same call every day. She’s tried and tried to get them to stop, but they won’t.”

Marvin said, “Everyone receives robocalls.” Particularly pointing out that the Federal Communications Commission alone has received more than 3.5 million complaints about the issue last year. This statistic has evolved gradually after noticing that consumers take a lot of time to file a complaint with the regulators. While the option of the Do Not Call list and strict FCC rules prohibits multiple unwanted autodialed and various pre-recorded calls, most robocalls are actually scammers that don’t care about any kind of violation.

There are plenty of options available with the telecom company that can help customers to cut down such calls, but the company has been constantly dragging their feet in offering the feature. In a recently explained statement, any sort of contact number blacklist can result in the occasional legitimate call being blocked. So the company has given the customers the ability to use some third party device to moderate any suspicious calls.

“The onus right now is on the consumer to navigate these complex problems,” explained CU’s Delara Derakhshani at a recent panel discussion on the issue. “The options are limited in their capability to block calls and they cost money. Consumers are being forced to pay for tools to block calls they shouldn’t be receiving in the first place.”

Marvin said this isn’t about making call-blocking mandatory, but about giving consumers a simple option to rid themselves of these likely illegal nuisance calls.

“What we want CenturyLink to do is start to provide some relief to that annoyance,” he explained outside the telecom company’s office. “CenturyLink has the technology and the ability to give people free and effective tools to block these robocalls before they even get to their houses. I think it’s an invasion of our privacy,” said CL customer Sarah, “and if CenturyLink has a way to stop them, I think they should.”

This is the second petition delivered to CU in a row. The End Robocalls Team knocked on Verizon’s DC office door few weeks back where the whole company decided to sit and discuss the problem with CU. AT&T customers can now expect to hear some good news from the subscribers regarding robocalls in the coming weeks.

Towns Urges Verizon Investigation for Abandoning Networks


Sixteen cities of New Jersey have asked the state to investigate Verizon as it feels the telecom company has, through neglect, abandoned and retired its copper landline infrastructure in most of South Jersey.

In some regions where Verizon has not been able to upgrade to its fiber network, it has failed to maintain its copper wires that are used to provide telephone service and DSL internet. “In more affluent communities, Verizon has begun to phase out copper with more modern fiber” while “ignoring these issues in communities like ours,” Hopewell Township Committeeman Gregory Facemyer said in the towns’ announcement of their petition.

On the contrary, Verizon denies most of the allegations explaining that it is committed to maintaining a reliable service in rural and urban parts of the state. Verizon confirms that it continues to invest and enhance its network because of the fierce competition for communication services throughout the country.

Earlier, Verizon’s predecessor New Jersey Bell committed to a statewide broadband buildout in a 1993 agreement with the other state authorities in exchange for a price regulation overhaul requested by the telco. While most of the towns are still stuck with the aging copper networks, Last year Verizon had an agreement with the state to meet its obligations with the cellular network instead of wired broadband.

Thereafter, the town’s petition has asked the BPU to investigate and rectify Verizon’s lack of maintenance of copper landline services and facilities. Verizon is also asked to maintain its infrastructure until it completely builds its statewide fiber network. Cellular services are not the sole substitute for landline or fiber services. The town stated, “The failure of Verizon to comply with its obligations… to provide fiber optic service throughout the State of New Jersey,” combined with poor maintenance of copper landlines, “will effectively cripple the capability of customers in rural areas to maintain adequate telephone, data, and Internet service.”

The town claimed that home phone service, internet service, and 911 access have been interrupted most of the times due to bad weather, including fog and drizzle. “Literally hundreds of such complaints have been received in the Petitioners’ communities,” the petition said. The petition further claims that “Verizon has manipulated its customer complaint records” to make the problems appear less severe than they are in reality.

Verizon has elucidated that fiber is the most reliable platform to meet present customer needs. Further, the New Jersey towns said, “Yet for our struggling communities, Verizon refuses to even acknowledge there is a problem, much less offer to upgrade our copper to fiber. Rather than discuss these problems with us, Verizon’s representative has decried our concerns, comparing local government leaders to a modern day flat earth society.”

New Jersey Officials Urge Verizon to Maintain Landline Services


A petition has been filed with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities by a group of 16 municipalities from four counties. This was the final effort to ensure that Verizon doesn’t abandon the basic home phone service. South Jersey officials and Verizon New Jersey have sparred over the issue of broadband service improvements for two years, reaching levels of contention. This matter eventually reached a pinnacle in May when the BPU approved an accord allowing Verizon to be exempted from certain state regulations for basic home phone services.

The South Jersey officials have reached out to BPU numerous times with enquiries regarding Verizon copper landline infrastructure maintenance in their respective municipalities. South Jersey officials were stubborn on their point while stating that the wireless carrier has continued to push its customers towards vague charges. Many prefer to keep their copper system as it has been proved to be more reliable than a wireless service.

The petition was filed last week and it further included municipalities from Cumberland, Atlantic, and Salem counties. Here are the municipalities pledging support:

  • Atlantic County: Estell Manor and Weymouth Township
  • Gloucester County: South Harrison Township
  • Salem County: Alloway Township, Lower Alloways Creek, Mannington Township, Township of Pilesgrove and Upper Pittsgrove Township.
  • Cumberland County: Commercial Township, Downe Township, Hopewell Township, Lawerence Township, Maurince River Township, City of Milliville, Upper Deerfield Township, and Fairfield Township

Cumberland County jointly filed the petition on behalf of all the municipalities who supported voluntarily. They requested that BPU should take strict action so that data, telephone communications, and internet services are equally available to all the residents residing in South Jersey as they are to the others in the state. The petition has ordered BPU to consider potential funding sources that might improve broadband service in South Jersey which is considered much worse than the more affluent areas in the state.

One such funding source that was suggested by officials was the federal Connect America Fund — a $9 billion program that the Federal Communication Commission authorized over the next six years to 10 telecommunication carriers “for rural broadband deployment,” according to the FCC’s website. The FCC plans to “expand broadband to nearly 7.3 million rural consumers in 45 states nationwide and one U.S. territory over the next few years.”

The petition also demands that the BPU direct Verizon to “respond to the allegations” brought by the municipalities and initiate an investigation into the allegations that Verizon has continued to neglect copper landline infrastructure in South Jersey.

“If the BPU does not hear this coalition’s plea, there will be residents and business in three to five years that will not have any recourse with their (landline) phones and wireless,” Facemyer said, noting that wireless is “not a viable alternative in rural South Jersey.”

Falls Church Copper Customers to Get Fiber Network from Verizon

adtVerizon has transitioned its Falls Church customers from copper to their fiber network. With this, it has taken a major leap in its goal to retire more of its aging wireless facilities. Verizon has already planned on replacing copper distribution and its loop facilities with FTTH at a few of its locations in the Falls Church Central office.

Once the process is completed, Verizon has promised to provide services over the fiber network. Similar to various other marketers were coppered has been retired, the service providers complained that it is unable to provide the IP-based FiOS services but will provide traditional POTS services over FTTH network architecture.

“Following the transition to fiber, Verizon will continue to offer these customers the same POTS service over fiber at the same or better price as they received on copper facilities, with no change in the underlying features and functionalities in their service,” Verizon said in an FCC filing. “There are no wholesale customers at these locations at this time.”

It also appended that if a wholesale provider is willing to provide service at any of the affected locations, they will be eligible to buy services over a more reliable network as they have done the same in other areas where copper fiber has deployed.

Over years, Verizon has made steady progress in transforming from copper to fiber, meeting it’s migration goals for 2015. By the end of this year, it has set a goal of converting a total of 200000 customers from copper to the fiber network. Despite its constant efforts and potential to provide reliable speed services like FiOS, Verizon’s copper retirement efforts have been previously fraught with controversy. It has battled accusations from the Communications Workers of America union that is in the negotiating process of a new contract.