LEWISBORO, N.Y. -- Verizon has withdrawn its application to New York State’s Public Service Commission to exclusively provide “Voice Link” in Lewisboro and North Salem and other areas in the state, potentially replacing copper land lines, according to Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester).
Voice Link routes all calls through a cellular network. Under an application by Verizon to the State’s Public Service Commission – which has now been effectively withdrawn – consumers could have been forced to accept Voice Link exclusively and be cut off from their copper-wire lines.
The proposed changes presented risks of poor reception and miscommunication with 911 emergency responders, especially since the Voice Link service is connected to the regular power grid.
In addition, Voice Link does not work with fax machines, medical alert bracelets, credit card machines, DSL internet services and some home security alarm systems.
The attendees at the press conference noted numerous times how public safety, particularly during emergencies and for seniors, could be affected and how small businesses could be impacted.
At the press conference on Sept. 9, residents were urged to write to the Public Service Commission about Verizon’s application before the Public Comment deadline of Sept. 13. Dozens of Lewisboro and North Salem residents did so.
Verizon filed an amendment to its Public Service Commission application on Sept. 11 that eliminated its request to offer Voice Link as an exclusive service in parts of the New York State.
“At the beginning of this week, I stood alongside Police Chief (Frank) Secret, local leaders and community advocates urging residents to write to the Public Service Commission about Verizon’s Voice Link product, and now I’m pleased to announce that Verizon’s application to the PSC has been effectively withdrawn,” Buchwald said in a statement. “What we achieved was giving our residents choice - no one should be forced to accept a service that has emergency response and public health complications, especially our seniors.
"I’m proud to be part of a community that responded to an issue of importance by speaking with a singular voice, and I’m very pleased that there was a speedy, successful outcome for Lewisboro and North Salem residents as a result.”