UPDATE: Three residents in the Crowley area have told us they do not have access to new high speed internet service through Verizon. Jarryd Gonzales of Verizon is checking further. Stay tuned.
Mono Supervisors and citizens complained to the Public Utilities Commission earlier this year about Verizon’s failure to provide high speed internet service in Crowley Lake and Swall Meadows by their deadline. The PUC started to impose penalties, but now Verizon says they’re ready to go.
When Verizon was caught overhearing fiber optic lines without permission in the Highway 395 Scenic Corridor, the PUC punished them by requiring that Verizon install high speed internet service in Crowley and Swall. In August of 2012, the PUC granted nearly $300,000 to Verizon to complete the internet service project for the two communities with a completion date of January 28, 2013. Verizon blew the deadline and asked for more time.
The Mono Supervisors then sent a letter to the PUC that urged them to deny Verizon’s request for more time and impose penalties. The PUC did deny Verizon’s request. In a letter to Verizon on April 2nd, the PUC threatened to reduce Verizon’s grant award to the tune of $2,000 per day after the January deadline.
Wednesday, Verizon spokesman Jarryd Gonzales told Sierra Wave Media that Verizon is currently accepting orders for internet service in Crowley and will take orders for Swall Meadows as early as next week. He said final tests are underway there.
In a letter from Verizon to the PUC, Verizon Vice President of Government Relations – Kurt Rasmussen claimed that “unanticipated problems with the backhaul upgrade led to delays in completing the Swall Meadows/ Crowley Lake project.” He said repairs had to be made which took more resources and more time. Verizon offered an apology. Officials said that the PUC did not implement penalties.