Verizon plans to discontinue four legacy DS0 services in parts of six states and New England, citing a dwindling number of users as customers migrate to more modern options.
In a filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Verizon said given the low numbers of subscribers and high costs of supporting the services, it plans to grandfather the services on or after Jan. 31, 2018, in the specified wire centers. At that time, no new customers will be added, but existing customers will be permitted to continue to submit orders for moves, adds and changes.
It then plans to stop permitting or accepting orders for moves, adds or changes on or after July 17, 2018, and will discontinue the services entirely on or after Dec. 31, 2018.
In addition to New England, the affected states include Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The services are Voice Grade Service, WATS Access Line Service, Digital Data Service (DDS), and Digipath Digital Service II, which Verizon said are outdated legacy voice grade and data transmission services that have “largely fallen out of favor as customers have chosen new options and technologies.”
The carrier currently has about 10 wholesale customers and about 67 retail customers on these services in the affected areas.
“Customers in these areas are being migrated to all-fiber facilities in a multi-stage process,” Verizon said. “Many customers have already made the decision to move either to our fiber-based services or to competitors’ services; others are in the process of transitioning. During this transition, we have been working closely with our customers receiving service over copper facilities to discuss their existing services and their needs going forward. For the vast majority of our customers, there has been a like-for-like, fiber-based service available for them, making this transition straightforward.”
Plain old telephone service (POTS) customers will continue to receive the same service over fiber at the “same or better price,” and there is no change in the underlying features and functionalities in their service, the carrier said. For those customers buying broadband internet services over copper facilities, FiOS internet will provide them “far more than they are getting today,” it said.
Last month, Verizon asked the FCC for permission to retire copper in eight Northeast markets early next year.