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Wired for Fios service - Work to be completed in 2009

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Most residents of Flatbush and Midwood should have FIOS service before the end of next year.

Verizon plans to wire the neighborhoods with fiber-optic cables beginning this month, Richard Windram, a spokesperson for the company, told members of Community Board 14, gathered at the board office, 810 East 16th Street, for the September Executive Committee meeting.

The reason why Verizon attended the meeting, said CB 14 District Manager Doris Ortiz, “Is to discuss what they are going to do, when they are breaking up streets. I want to know who’s going to be breaking up streets. I want to know the contact people, in case we have complaints about the poles going up in front of a Victorian home and things like that.”

By and large, said Windram, the company plans to utilize existing poles or, if the existing wiring is underground, to put the new wiring underground as well. “Whatever path it takes today, we will follow,” he said, though additional poles may be necessary in some locations. Windram later acknowledged, “There is a chance some of the poles will be in front.”

In fact, noted Ortiz, homeowners, “Don’t have any say about whether that pole is in front of your house or not.”

Nonetheless, if there is a need to put up additional poles, said Nasser Nasser, manager of Brooklyn FIOS engineering for Verizon, Verizon will try to find a way to do it unobtrusively, if possible.

To that end, said Nasser, the company will, “go to the community, the block association, and let them know.” This, Nasser stressed, is because Verizon, “Needs the okay from all the owners on the street.”

“If we get full cooperation, we’ll go in the back,” agreed Windram.

While the general wiring will be done as part of the impending project, the wiring to individual homes will not be completed till the service is ordered, Windram said. At that point, he explained, installers will “put an optical network terminal on the side of the house.”

In landmarked neighborhoods, the company would not be allowed by the city to put up new poles, said Nasser in response to a question from Assemblymember Rhoda Jacobs on the issue.

However, he added, “Even if there are no poles in the area, we might need one pole every two to three intersections to put a box on.” Each box, said Nasser, connects 200 or 300 homes.

Windram said that Verizon would not switch anyone to FIOS who wants to retain their current type of service.

Nor, said Nasser, would customers who only want phone service be moved to FIOS for that service alone, “Unless their old service is very bad. We are not going to move them if their service is working.”

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