New York is extremely lucky that it has not joined the Chump Parade and totally deregulated its telecom sector, although apparently it has such a proposal on the table. I say this because New York now faces one of those quintessential local problems that is much, much better handled at the state level than on the federal level.
It involves Verizon’s Voice Link product. As regular readers know, That Darn Voice Link is the summer replacement series for Game of Sprint — the Sprint/Softbank/DISH/CLWR drama which is now winding down.The plot for That Darn Voice Link is fairly straightforward. Scrappy little Voice Link, the daughter of the highly successful Verizon Wireless family, must get along with curmudgeonly old Uncle Copper while learning the family business and replacing Uncle Copper as the landline substitute. Will Voice Link provide a valuable alternative service? Or is Voice Link not yet ready for her big debut? Hijinks ensue!
In this week’s episode, Voice Link may have been selling herself a little too aggressively to some problem customers up in the Catskills. The State Attorney General thinks Voice Link crossed the line, but Voice Link insists she was just being helpful.
So is Voice Link going to get in trouble? Will the Federal Communications Commission get involved? Will this hurt Voice Link’s big debut on Fire Island?
Probably not. But it does underscore the very real question of what does it mean for Verizon to offer Voice Link as an alternative service while still genuinely offering copper, and stresses the importance of state jurisdiction — because there is no way the FCC can handle this sort of one-off local practice thing effectively.
More below . . .