Brookhaven officials broadcast a loud and clear message to Verizon on Thursday: they want FiOS in the township.
Supervisor Ed Romaine was joined by town board members and representatives of the Communication Workers of America Thursday outside Verizon Communication's headquarters in Patchogue to urge the company to make FiOS available to Brookhaven residents.
"I don't want to knock Cablevision, it's a great service, but we think competition is good. We think FiOS would be a help and we are here to say to Verizon, 'Bring FiOS to Brookhaven,'" Romaine said.
During the press conference, Councilwoman Jane Bonner addressed the rumor that Brookhaven is taking money from Cablevision to keep Verizon out.
"Nothing could be further from the truth," she said. "We want competition."
John Bonomo, a Verizon spokesman, said the company did build about 20 percent of the fiber optic network needed to provide FiOS service in Brookhaven. The project was abandoned when the utility could not reach a franchise agreement with the town a few years back, he said.
During the past several years, Verizon has reached franchise agreements with 183 towns, villages and other municipalities within the 12 states it covers. Bonomo said under many of those franchise agreements, his company promised to build out quickly to provide 100 percent coverage within 5 years, a deadline that is quickly approaching.
"FiOS is a great product. A lot of towns and villages have FiOS envy because they want it. But we have a lot of work to do to meet commitments in those 183 municipalities," he said.
Romaine said if Verizon were to build out its Brookhaven network, it has the potential reach to 150,000 to 200,000 homes.
"If you are in the business of marketing to your customers, there’s a lot of customers in Brookhaven. Come to Brookhaven and give us the type of competition we know will improve service and prices," he said.
Bonomo said he wouldn't make any promises about the future of FiOS in Brookhaven.