Ridley Park's Online Digital Community
We've been receiving numerous complaints from residents on Hillside Road and Burk Avenue regarding Verizon's installation of Fios to these neighborhoods. Any rightfully so.
Seems that Verizon has filed the necessary requests with the Borough of Ridley Park to "open the street" for installation of Fios. Whenever a utility company wants to get access to the "right of way" along the streets to install their lines or equipment, they must advise and request permission from the borough. Verizon did this and then began digging up the ground to install Fios underground lines. The only problem was that Verizon subcontractor's were digging about 15 feet from the street into the actual properties of the residents. Usually the "right of way" is from the street to the end of your side walk adjacent to your property ( where lawn begins ). Verizon contractors were tearing up the front lawns of these homes by digging trenches about 6 foot deep and about two foot in width. The residents only received a notice from Verizon that work would commence in the near future to install Fios. The residents were under the impression that the work would be between the side walk and the curb, NOT on their lawns past the sidewalk and on their properties. Several residents have also had damage to their driveways and sidewalks by the workers who are digging.
I've reached out to Verizon several times and they are not replying back to my request to speak with someone. Called the Pa Public Utilities Commission (PA PUC ) and was surprised to learn that the PA PUC has no jurisdiction over Fios. Then called the FCC and was advised to contact Verizon first. I explained that they are not responding back to me and was then advised to file a complaint via online at their website. That process would take over a month to render any kind of action. The process would be that we file a complaint and Verizon has thirty days to respond to it....... sounds like a typical "red tape" government reaction to complaints. My suggestion to any resident who is experiencing this on their property is to demand that the contractor get off private property and refuse to let them dig. This is going to be the only way Verizon will get the message quicker than the above-mentioned process.
Through some research, I've also learned that Verizon is telling the residents that Ridley Park Borough gave their contractor's permission to dig in their property, that is NOT true. The borough only issued the permit to "open the street" which pertains to the "right of way". Also Verizon is informing us that they had negotiated a right of way with the builder's of these affected properties that allows them to come on to the property past the sidewalk. If their is such an agreement, then it must be on the home owner's deed for the property. Usually their is a certain distance from the street to the property line that defines the "right of way".
There are several residents who have right of way easements that they don't even know about. Find the deed to your property to look for this information. I will try to keep everyone informed on any response by Verizon, but I'm not holding my breath. While I was typing this note, a resident on Hillside Road said that Verizon moved the installation from their yard back under the sidewalk in the "right of way". Remember, the wheel that squeaks the loudest, get's the oil. Call Verizon and make your voice heard is my other suggestion.