S.4029-A (Comrie) / A.5967-A (Paulin)

STAFF CONTACT :

Director, Government Affairs
518.694.4463

BILL

S.4029-A (Comrie) / A.5967-A (Paulin)

SUBJECT

Amends the Public Service Law In Relation to Requiring Certain Notices In Regards to Fiber Optic-Based Telephone Lines

DATE

Oppose

The Business Council of New York State, the State’s leading statewide business and industry association, opposes this legislation that would amend the Public Service Law by requiring regulated telephone-service providers to give at least 45 days’ notice before migrating their service from copper-based telephone lines to fiber optic-based lines.

The expansion of fiber optics in the delivery of telephone service has been well underway for years. Fiber offers many beneficial aspects as compared with old fashion copper lines. Fiber is immune from many of the environmental issues that plague copper lines and cause its deterioration. Fiber is lighter in weight and size as compared to copper lines, it is more energy efficient, carries signals at greater speed, and can offer more extensive services as compared to copper lines.

The migration to fiber is being undertaken by phone companies for a number of purposes - even compliance, as in migration under Federal Communications Commission orders. In the cases of replacement it should be noted that there are no adverse impacts on the calling features on fiber optic as compared with old copper lines. All of the services used by customers such as home alarms, fax service, monitoring devices, and 911 – to name only a few – continue under fiber lines. 

The 45 day notice period would make it impossible for carriers to promptly repair outages in emergencies situations. In the case of planned replacement customers are given advance notice of replacement. The same provisions govern loss of power and battery options for customers and procedures to educate the customer in advance of outages in order for them to maintain calling options – often for extended periods of time.

For the above reasons, The Business Council opposes this legislation and urges its passage.