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Verizon Halts DSL Sales At 53 Sites

Verizon Communications Friday morning closed down digital subscriber line sales at 53 central offices in its network, citing capacity issues.

Officials downplayed the sales freeze, saying it affected only 35 percent of its 1,850 COs in 30 states.

Larry Plumb, Verizon spokesperson, said the capacity issues at the COs are being dealt with on a case-by-case basis, with no firm completion date fixed.

"It's a temporary suspension of sales due to capacity issues," Plumb said. "Sometimes it can last for a week, sometimes longer than that, but we don't expect any backlog to develop from it."

In a letter sent out to its wholesale customers, Internet service providers, Verizon officials said anyone who tries to pre-certify a phone number serving one of the closed COs in the network will not qualify.

"Demand for DSL in areas served by these offices has significantly exceeded supply of (DSL Access Multiplexer) equipment. Therefore, the offices will not accept new DSL orders until supply can catch up to demand."

It's welcome news to the many customers in Verizon territory who have experienced problems with DSL service. Many feel problems with high-speed Internet access are due to a crowded network, exacerbated by the phone company's continued sale of new DSL accounts.

Problems are so prevalent that consumers and businesspeople have joined together to call Verizon to task.

New Networks Institute, a telecom watchdog organization, held a public meeting on the fifth anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, where they announced a Broadband Bill of Rights petition to force legislators and the courts to look into service complaints.