ProEthics (and our home, where it resides) is in Alexandria City, in Northern Virginia. We are dependent on the internet, but cannot get the high-speed variety, Fios, from Verizon, our provider. This has significant business and personal consequences: for one thing, it means that I can’t load video commentary on Ethics Alarms as I have wanted to do for years. For another, Verizon’s DSL service, at least mine, sucks. Lately it has been kicking out many times every day, sometimes after only being up for a few minutes.
We have called Verizon many, many times, in various states for fury, to ask when Fios will be available. The answers are scripted and vague, made to sound like the service will be available imminently. Nothing changes, however. Alexandria isn’t Hooterville: there are many businesses, and the residents would be a prime market for high-speed internet.
What’s going on here?
A contact at Verizon who swears us to keeping her identity secret told us recently that the problem is the city, which has refused permission to Verizon to install the necessary infrastructure until the company pays a demanded kickback. Apparently, our sources says, high-rise apartment complexes and some business properties have Fios because they can make their own deals with the provider.
Now what? I have no idea if all of this is true, although I an inclined trust my source. I do not have the resources or skill to investigate this myself. I have some contacts with the local news media, and I suppose it couldn’t hurt to try to get a reporter interested, but without a direct source at Verizon to refer one to, I doubt that I can. This appears to be municipal corruption that is harming citizens out of venal motives. I may have the key to unlocking the alleged scandal, and if I do, there is a civic and ethical duty to turn it.
And there goes my DSL! Must reboot now…