Bright House Files Complaint vs. Verizon

Bright House Networks -- which launched telephony in its Tampa, Fla., market in June -- has lost 24% of its sign-ups through August because customers can't get their numbers transferred from Verizon Communications, according to a complaint filed with the state's Public Service Commission.

The complaint is similar to one filed by Time Warner Inc. against Verizon before the Federal Communications Commission.

Bright House asserted in its filing that Verizon refuses to port a number to the cable competitor unless the consumer also drops digital-subscriber-line service from Verizon. Consumers are finding that they have to make multiple calls to complete disconnection from DSL services if they take that option, according to the filing.

The complaint, filed Sept. 30, detailed the experience of one unnamed customer who has tried for seven weeks to drop Verizon DSL so the household can take services from Bright House.

Most customers, however, cancel the order to the cable competitor when they are informed by Verizon that they will have to give up their e-mail address in order to buy from a competitive provider.

Similar state-level complaints regarding "forced bundling" are also pending in Georgia, Kentucky and Louisiana. Those cases focus on activities by BellSouth Corp., however.

Bright House’s complaint argued that there is no justification for linking two technologically and regulatory different products. It asks state regulators to order Verizon to immediately cease the practice.