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FCC Requires More Data On Verizon Fire Island Discontinuance Request

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Released: August 14, 2013


Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.


Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 13-1758

Released: August 14, 2013




WC Docket Nos. 13-149 & 13-150
Comp. Pol. File Nos. 1112 & 1115


May 24, 2013


June 7, 2013, Verizon New Jersey Inc.

, located at 540 Broad Street,

Newark, NJ 07102


Verizon New York Inc.

, located at 140 West Street, New York, NY 10007
(collectively, Verizon or Applicants), filed applications requesting authority under section 214 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 214, and section 63.71 of the Federal
Communications Commission's (FCC or Commission) rules, 47 C.F.R. 63.71, to discontinue certain
domestic telecommunications services in certain parts of New Jersey and New York affected by Hurricane
Sandy.1 On June 14, 2013, Verizon filed a letter to update the record regarding notice to customers affected
by the Barrier/Fire Island Application.2 On June 28, 2013, the Bureau released Public Notices announcing
that Verizon's applications would be deemed to be automatically granted on August 27, 2013, the 60th day
after the release date of the Public Notices, unless the Bureau notifies Verizon that the grants will not be
automatically effective.3 With this Public Notice, the Bureau announces that the above-referenced Verizon
applications to discontinue services will not be automatically granted.
The Commission typically authorizes proposed discontinuances of service on a streamlined basis
when there are no concerns that customers or other end users would be unable to receive service or a

1 Letter from Frederick Moacdieh, Executive Director Federal Regulatory Affairs, Verizon, to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, Attach., WC Docket No. 13-149 (filed May 24, 2013) (Special Access Application), available at; Letter from Frederick E. Moacdieh, Executive Director
Federal Regulatory Affairs, Verizon, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, Attach., WC Docket No. 13-150 (filed
June 7, 2013) (Barrier/Fire Island Application), available at A detailed description of the services that Verizon seeks
to discontinue and its explanation for the requests are set forth in Verizon's applications to discontinue service.
2 See Letter from Frederick E. Moacdieh, Executive Director Federal Regulatory Affairs, Verizon, to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, FCC, WC Docket No. 13-150 (filed June 14, 2013) (stating that Verizon is sending additional
notice to the billing address of a number of customers that were previously notified at their service address, and that
Verizon has since identified an additional 65 affected customers that are being provided with the notice attached to
the Barrier/Fire Island Application). The Competition Policy Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau)
subsequently received Verizon's letter on June 18, 2013.
3 Comments Invited on Application of Verizon New Jersey Inc. and Verizon New York Inc. to Discontinue Domestic
Telecommunications Services
, Public Notice, WC Docket No. 13-149, Comp. Pol. File No. 1112, 28 FCC Rcd 9193,
9195 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013); Comments Invited on Application of Verizon New Jersey Inc. and Verizon New
York Inc. to Discontinue Domestic Telecommunications Services
, Public Notice, WC Docket No. 13-150, Comp.
Pol. File No. 1115, 28 FCC Rcd 9198, 9202 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013).

reasonable substitute from another carrier, or that the public convenience and necessity would be
otherwise adversely affected. Where there are concerns in the record as to whether a service has
reasonable substitutes or whether the present or future public convenience and necessity will be adversely
affected, the Commission may take a petition off the automatic grant if necessary to allow further review
of the discontinuance application, consistent with its statutory obligations.4 In this case, numerous parties
raised concerns about Verizon's proposed discontinuances and, in particular, opposed an automatic grant
of the proposed discontinuances.5 In addition, the Bureau has requested additional information from
Verizon regarding the Barrier/Fire Island Application.6 Given the circumstances, we conclude that
further review is appropriate and the public interest will not be served by an automatic grant of Verizon's
applications. Therefore, by this Public Notice, Verizon is notified that the above-referenced applications
to discontinue domestic telecommunications services will not be granted automatically.7 We emphasize
that our removal of Verizon's applications from the automatic grant process should not be construed as a
final determination on the merits of Verizon's requests for authority to discontinue services.
We remind all interested parties that intend to make ex parte presentations in the above-
referenced proceedings that these proceedings are considered "permit but disclose" proceedings for
purposes of the Commission's ex parte rules.8 Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy of
any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two business days
after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons
making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1)

4 See 47 U.S.C. 214(a); 47 C.F.R. 63.71; see also Policy and Rules Concerning Rates for Competitive Common
Carrier Services and Facilities Authorizations Therefor
, CC Docket No. 79-252, First Report and Order, 85 FCC 2d
1, 49 (1980) (Competitive Carrier First Report and Order) ("we have retained the right to delay grant of a
discontinuance authorization if we believe an unreasonable degree of customer hardship would result"); Federal
Communications Comm'n v. RCA Communications, Inc.
, 346 U.S. 86, 90 (1953). See, e.g., AT&T Application to
Discontinue Interstate Sent-Paid Coin Service Not Automatically Granted
, NSD File No. W-P-D-497, Public
Notice, 16 FCC Rcd 14935 (Comm. Carr. Bur. 2001) (removing discontinuance application from streamlined grant).
5 The Commission received more than 70 comments in WC Docket No. 13-150, with several commenters voicing
concerns about the limitations of Voice Link service, its suitability as a replacement for the wireline
telecommunications services Verizon proposes to discontinue, and the need for a thorough investigation of the
issues involved in this proceeding. See, e.g., AARP Comments at 15-16 (stating that the substitution of Voice Link
eliminates a common carrier network that has supported a wide variety of technologies and services of benefit to
consumers, and jeopardizes public safety because it is incompatible with Life Alert systems and security systems);
CWA Comments at 8, 20-24 (suggesting that the Commission deny an automatic grant of Verizon's application and
consider further data to evaluate Voice Link as an alternative); NYPSC Comments at 2 (urging the Commission to
postpone its decision until the NYPSC can make an assessment of Voice Link as an alternative service); NJBPU
Comments at 6 (suggesting that the Commission should not automatically grant Verizon's application as the NJBPU
awaits a discontinuance filing from Verizon); Public Knowledge Comments at 7-12 (asserting that Voice Link is a
downgrade from wireline telecommunications). The Commission also received comments in WC Docket No. 13-
149 opposing an automatic grant of Verizon's application. See, e.g., Comments of the NJ Division of Rate Counsel,
National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, and the Utility Reform Network at 25 (stating that the
Commission should deny or defer action on Verizon's applications pending further State review).
6 See Letter from Julie A. Veach, Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau, FCC, to Kathleen Grillo, Senior Vice
President Federal Regulatory Affairs, Verizon, Attach., WC Docket No. 13-150, DA 13-1760 (Wireline Comp.
Bur. rel. Aug. 14, 2013).
7 See 47 C.F.R. 63.71(c) ("The application to discontinue . . . shall be automatically granted on the 60th day . . .
unless the Commission has notified the applicant that the grant will not be automatically effective").
8 47 C.F.R. 1.1200 et seq. Although "inquiries relating solely to the status" of the proceedings do not qualify as
ex parte presentations, communications "directed to the merits or outcome" of the proceedings fall within the
definition for such presentations. See 47 C.F.R. 1.1202.

list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was
made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the
presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the
presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide
citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying
the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of
summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte
meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b).
In proceedings governed by rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of
electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations,
and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that
proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in
this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities
(Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (tty).
For further information, contact Carmell Weathers, (202) 418-2325 (voice),, or Rodney McDonald, (202) 418-7513 (voice),, of
the Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau. The tty number is (202) 418-0484. For
further information on procedures regarding section 214, please visit

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