Verizon led massive astroturf campaign to end NJ broadband obligation

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Verizon doesn't want to deploy high-speed wired broadband service to all New Jersey residents, despite receiving financial perks from the state for the past 20 years in exchange for building a statewide network.

To make sure it doesn't have to complete the buildout to all of New Jersey's 8.9 million residents, Verizon led an astroturf campaign that flooded the state Board of Public Utilities (BPU) with hundreds of identical e-mails purporting to support Verizon's case. One person who is listed as having written one of these e-mails said that he didn't submit anything, and if he did, "I would've slammed them."

A report in Stop the Cap found several other Verizon "supporters" who had no idea e-mails were submitted under their names. LinkedIn searches show that some of the people sending the aforementioned e-mails are Verizon employees, with titles such as "field tech" or "sourcing process leader." Three hundred twenty-seven people sent e-mails with that text in a six-day span, with 315 of them coming on March 19 and 20.


Verizon led massive astroturf campaign to end NJ broadband obligation