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Brookhaven Town invites Verizon to finish FIOS installation

The headquarters for Verizon Communications Inc. in Manhattan.

The headquarters for Verizon Communications Inc. in Manhattan. Credit: AP, 2005

The Brookhaven Town Board is inviting Verizon to finish the FIOS network installation that it started in town.

The move would create jobs for Verizon workers and competition between cable providers, possibly lowering rates for residents, several board members said at a news conference Thursday in Patchogue.

Verizon officials have been noncommittal about a return. “I can’t predict where and how the television industry will play out. It changes virtually every day,” said John Bonomo, a Verizon spokesman.

About five years ago, Verizon offered some town residents telephone and Internet service with the intention of completing its FIOS network and making a cable package available, said Michael Gendron, a Verizon union representative. But the cable company pulled out, leaving the FIOS network about 25 percent completed, he said.

In Patchogue Thursday, Brookhaven Deputy Supervisor Dan Panico said competition between cable providers “is good for the marketplace.”

Board members also reiterated that the town is not keeping Verizon out of Brookhaven.

Several council members said their offices have been flooded with phone calls from upset residents who said they were told by Verizon sales representatives that town officials do not want the cable provider in town. But Bonomo said sales representatives should only inform potential customers whether the service is available.

While some Verizon customers who purchased a FIOS package continue to have their service, other residents can only purchase Cablevision, Gendron said. Officials for Cablevision, which owns Newsday, declined to comment after the news conference.

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