Residents Say Wireless System Called Voice Link Was Inadequate

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Verizon will restore land-line telephone and internet service to Fire Island, Sen. Charles Schumer announced Tuesday.

Much of the service to the villages and hamlets on the barrier island south of Long Island was knocked out after Superstorm Sandy.

Sandy submerged parts of Fire Island, destroying underground copper wiring. Instead of costly replacement, Verizon used Fire Island as a test case and installed a wireless system called Voice Link to service the island’s 300 permanent residents and dozens of businesses.

Some residents complained to the Public Service Commission that the replacement service was inadequate.

Verizon spokesman John Bonomo confirms that in coming weeks work will commence on installing a system on the barrier island using fiber-optic cables. The Voice Link system also will remain available.

He noted the old copper wire land lines were inefficient on the remote island.

The new system should be in place by the start of the 2014 summer vacation season, Bonomo said.

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