BPL : Verizon says; “Not So Fast,” Brakes Put On BPL Activation

Many IBEC boxes like the one above have already been installed and await Verizon's activation of T-1 service for BPL internet to work.
Many IBEC boxes like the one above have already been installed and await Verizon's activation of T-1 service for BPL internet to work.

Updated: 2:00 PM EDT 10-17-08
Thus far we have received no additional information from Verizon, Inc. We will update as soon as we get it.

UPDATED: 7:15 PM EDT Verizon responds:
In an e-mail received this evening, Harry Mitchell with Verizon Media Affairs for Virginia sent the following e-mail with the promise of additional details:

From: harry.j.mitchell
Subject: Re: BPL – Verizon Halts activation to IBEC-1
Date: October 16, 2008 7:00:09 PM EDT
To: tommy.stafford


Sorry for the delay; it has been a busy day.

To your question, we’re still investigating the reported delay in hooking up the BPL system to the Verizon network. Our technology team has not found any approved engineering practices for the types of connections requested, and the intersection of a power network and a telecommunications network has to be handled sensitively, as you can imagine.

I’ll keep you posted, Tommy.

Harry J Mitchell
Verizon Communications
Director-Field Media Relations, Mid-Atlantic/South-Central Regions

Previous story here.

Earlier post:

In a strange twist of events Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, Verizon has told IBEC they are “Putting activation of their circuits feeding BPL equipment on hold.”

In a conversation Thursday morning with, Asa Gage, Director of Network Operations for IBEC, based in Huntsville, Alabama, he tells NCL that everything was ready to go and then Verizon halted activation citing legal issues. “Our equipment was in place, Verizon physically completed the connection to our equipment, then told us they would not activate the service citing legal ramifications,” says Gage. This in spite of the fact that apparently Verizon activated similar additional circuits a few days ago feeding the already established BPL service in the Colleen area.

According to Gage, they became aware of the problem when their bulk buying agent, AT&T was told of the halt in activation. “Depending on the area of the country depends who we actually go through to secure our specialty lines.” In this particular case it is AT&T, who in turn deals with Verizon.

Gage tells NCL they have been given very little information as to why Verizon decided at the last minute to deny service, and a planned meeting on Friday morning in Atlanta between, AT&T, Verizon, and IBEC will hopefully answer those questions and solve the situation. “We have plenty of circuits installed by Verizon in other parts of Nelson and in other parts of the country, but for some reason thy have halted the activation of these lines for legal causes,” Gage continues.

NCL has placed calls to Verizon’s media relations as well as corporate offices. In an e-mail from Harry Mitchell, Virginia Media Relations For Verizon, he told us that he; “Got your voice mail and this. I’ll check around and get back to you.” That was received here at NCL at 12:16 PM EDT.

We will update this story as soon as we have additional information.


  1. Just signed up with IBEC @ 12 oc. p.m. today & could tell in there voice something was wrong.
    But thomas edision & alexander gram bell all had these, well sorta these problems. Had to call wild blue & how it got that name because it was very tame this morning & did not work. Might have to go back in time & get land line conection as backup. Could move back to city also! Patience!

  2. This is an outrage! There is no reason to allow citizens to pay for a service, put the permit in then have the service cancelled with no reason, or the only reason being ” legal ramifications”, and I do quote. When will enough be enough! Verizon already has a monopoly over the telephone lines and now they want it over this. I know what it is. They want a percentage, They want money. I bet they will get it too, Until we receive someone who will stand up for us! I think this is corporate puppeteers pulling strings to see what they can get. I am so pissed! I believe that there is something WE THE PEOPLE of Nelson can do. Isn’t there a lawyer in cyberspace that reads the comments on the site. Tom Perriello I hear was a lawyer, Hes got my vote if he addresses this. I’m going to his site now and see if I can drop a link to here or something. Enough is enough and it’s time for a change! Who’s with me?

  3. Joe Stevens makes an interesting point. We have found in the past there is much a concerned, organized group of citizens can do. May we explore the ways we can raise the visibility of this treatment by Verizon to a larger public? Our little corporation is working to bring woodworking jobs to rural America. I am honored to live and work in Nelson, and have battled Verizon since 1999. For 6-7 years we paid outrageous fees ( $450-650 per month ) to Verizon for an ISDN connection to the internet. In the Spring of 2007 Verizon terminated that connection without warning one weekend and would not restore it for any amount of money. They gave me the run around for three months on that one. Verizon will not extend DSL or FIOS to our rural location. Please let me know what I and my companies can do to help. If nothing else, we need to embarrass Verizon again in the public media by naming names and giving phone numbers. I’m with Joe. If some local politicos can make BPL happen in 17 days they have my vote.

  4. OK, went to the FCC and filed a complaint. Here is the receipt….

    Form 2000B – Billing, Privacy, or Service Quality Complaint
    Acknowledgment & Fax Cover sheet to submit additional information.
    Filing for: Greg has been received by FCC. Thanks for your information. When inquiring about your complaint, be sure to reference this number: 08-C0006XXXX and, be sure to mention that you filed this complaint over the internet.

    Use this page as a Fax Cover Sheet when faxing additional details to the FCC.

    Fax Number (866) 418-0232
    Date: 10/17/2008
    To: Federal Communications Commission
    From: Greg Heuer
    Total Number of Pages: __________
    Subject: 08-C0006XXXX (Form2000 Filed Via The Internet)

  5. Thanks for that info Greg, can you supply the URL in a post here as well, so all people have to do is click on it to file their complaint. I have had very little time to discuss this in detail but the latest turn of events is disappointing at best, outright underhanded is a better description.

    To believe that Verizon had no idea what these lines were being used and installed for….well “Let me sell you that bridge in Brooklyn.” I am encouraging people to contact the following:

    Ivan G. Seidenberg, Chairman and CEO
    Verizon, Inc
    140 West St.
    New York, NY 10007
    212 395-1000

    This warrants intervention at the highest levels in the corporate structure of Verizon, otherwise this may drag out forever. Light up the switchboard!

    While I don’t think IBEC has done the best job in the past of updating everyone on the developments and delays, I do think Mr. Gage calling and letting us know this information is showing a willingness on their part to paint the complete picture, rather than stringing folks along in hopes it can be resolved before anyone finds out otherwise. And, what Verizon has done to IBEC, and all of us as customers at the last minute, is inexcusable. They knew this weeks ago, yet waited to hold them up at the last minute. If that wasn’t the case then it was gross incompetence on their part for not knowing what the circuits were being used for at time of install.

    And as you mention Greg, since this is funded in part with federal dollars, it now becomes a case of Verizon holding up the completion of a partial federal project, that makes it perfectly correct for elected members of congress and the senate to get involved. Now.

    More as the saga unfolds…

  6. Thanks Greg,

    Just filed my complaint as well:

    Filing for: Tommy has been received by FCC. Thanks for your information. When inquiring about your complaint, be sure to reference this number: 08-C000XXXX and, be sure to mention that you filed this complaint over the internet.

    Use this page as a Fax Cover Sheet when faxing additional details to the FCC.

    Fax Number (866) 418-0232
    Date: 10/17/2008
    To: Federal Communications Commission
    From: Tommy Stafford
    Total Number of Pages: __________
    Subject: 08-C000XXXX (Form2000 Filed Via The Internet)
    Wintergreen VA 22958

    Easy to do and takes little time.

    Will be filing with Virginia Public Service Commission as well.

  7. Just filed my FCC complaint as well. Thanks everyone for the info/links. This is getting ridiculous.

    -Just another owner of a hundred-dollar paperweight

  8. I just filed my complaint as well with the FCC. Tom’s site doesn’t have a forum that I can post on and the only way to contact him is by a field office or by mailing to a PO box in Ivy. And to think I was all hyped up about having a fast internet connection and SOCOM: Confrontation came out on the 10th….Sons of Bitches!

  9. Just filed my complain with the FCC. Thank you for the links. I hope this is resolved. Not having high-speed access is annoying.

  10. You know…..
    What are the chances that Verizon just realized that there’s a market for DSL in this area, and has decided to (eventually) deploy it here?

    This would make sense (in a greedy after the fact sort of way) for them now that all of the demographic testing has been done by IBEC.

    Could they do this?

  11. Yea Erik, that very thought has crossed my mind as well.

    Now knowing that nearly 1000 people have stepped up to the plate and prepaid, they may be thinking; “Gee we could have this after all.” And it might be worth the investment. Pretty simple math. $ 35.00 per month X 12 months = $420.00 per year X 1000 customers = $420,000 annually.

    Good incentive, though we told them how hungry people here were for broadband years ago.

    And to hold up IBEC in the final inning is just wrong. They will respond saying this was a technical problem and concerns about how it interfaces with BPL, when that technology was actually approved for connection to telephone networks years ago.



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