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Verizon Audit Unearths Grounding Issues at FiOS Installations

An internal audit of 15.5% of older FiOS installations in New York conducted by Verizon found that 59% of those installations are not in compliance with electrical grounding standards, according to a report filed by the telecommunications company to the New York Department of Public Service. However, the telco evidently improved its performance for more recent installs.

Verizon began a grounding remediation plan this summer after an audit by staffers of the state agency indicated that electrical hazards could exist in some of the residential installations made by the company to deliver video services. A Verizon quality assurance team is addressing the installations that were found to be non-compliant, but that audit is still under way, according to the Sept. 19 DPS filing.

The report, detailing Verizon's audit work for August, did not state how many homes Verizon serves now in New York with FiOS products. Inspections were made in 16 counties, according to the report.

Verizon has a 95% electrical grounding compliance target for new installations, but the report indicates that 83% of new installs inspected by field supervisors are compliant. Grounding compliance is as high as 99% for installs in Verizon's western New York region and 98% in Manhattan, but as low as 59% for new installs in Queens, according to the report.

The DPS is accepting comment on Verizon's voluntary remediation schedule through Sept. 26. The commission has not set a date on which it will decide to accept or revise Verizon's plan.

Verizon filed a supplementary audit report to the PSC this week, documenting audits for the first two weeks of September, showing the telco had reached 94% compliance with proper electrical grounding procedures on new installs during that period. The filing did not contain details on older installs.

Performance during that period ranged from a low of 90% grounding compliance in FiOS installs in areas such as Brooklyn, to a high of 100% in Suffolk County installs. The filing did not specify the actual number of homes installed during that period.