"We feel we've been wronged by Verizon," he says. "To have someone in that section of the industry, which is basically still a monopoly, do something like this -- it's a real shame."
With no frame relay connection back to corporate headquarters, Intellution's overseas offices are suffering. Buckley is now looking at setting up an Internet VPN in the interim, which will require costly Internet bandwidth upgrades, he says.
"These people can't do their jobs because they can't see customer information and case histories," Buckley says. Customer profiles are stored in Foxborough and Intellution needs to have private connections between headquarters and the global branch offices, so all employees can access customer information.
Doug Hogue, telecommunications project manager for UniFirst, a Wilmington, Mass., uniform supplier, tells a similar story.
UniFirst has more than 130 locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, connected by a frame relay network run by AT&T Global Network Services.
In June 2000, UniFirst signed a contract with AT&T to upgrade the network, which was reaching its capacity. The company was hoping to have the network running by the spring of 2001.
Problems first cropped up during the Verizon strike when UniFirst was told the additional T-1s scheduled to run into Wilmington would be delayed from mid-September until October.
Then on Oct. 11, during a conference call with AT&T, Hogue was told there would be problems getting fiber into Wilmington. AT&T told him that because of Verizon capacity issues, the installation would be delayed until April 2001.
Desperate for a solution, Hogue called Verizon to see if he could order the circuits directly from the service provider. Hogue says he was quoted a higher price than what AT&T was charging and was told Verizon could not commit to an installation date until he signed the contract. Hogue decided not to sign with Verizon.
UniFirst's network is now beginning to experience performance problems, and Hogue is scrambling to minimize the amount of traffic on the network.
Like Buckley, Hogue is not happy with Verizon.
"They're going in front of the state of [Massachusetts] for long-distance approval, and they can't even serve their data customers," he says. "What will adding long-distance do to their capacity?"
According to Verizon's Johnson, capacity wouldn't be impacted because Verizon is already carrying long-distance traffic across its network. The only difference between Verizon having the long-distance approval would be that the traffic could then run into a Verizon point of presence, rather than into the POP of another carrier, he explains.