In an interesting item over on the Huffington Post, union workers are claiming Verizon is denying them overtime (overtime is a right?) which they could be using for post-Irene repairs that are stacking up. Whether cost savings or payback, I found the response of Verizon’s spokesman fascinating:
Bonomo said the company had not declared an emergency, which the union claims might help in restoring service to customers more quickly, because “the traditional landline phone is not as vital as it had been in past years.” There were “no major outages,” he said, and added that customers could use cellphones instead…
Not as vital? Did he really say that out loud? It’s true enough I guess, one definitely thinks of one’s cell phone first when it comes to an emergency nowadays. But it’s quite another to hear it from an ILEC directly – so much for those lofty five nines of service, eh? Don’t worry we’ll get you hooked up again eventually, shall we say next Thursday between 8am and 2pm?
Just a few years ago landline operators were talking up how desperately important landline E911 service was and how VoIP operators had to implement it perfectly at all times or people would die. Skype and others still tell everyone their service is not a landline replacement even as it’s becoming a feature on smartphones and working on becoming a wireless replacement. Perhaps now we need to put a sticker on landline phones: “This phone is not a wireless or VoIP replacement, and may not be suitable for emergency situations.” LOL.
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