OPC Staff Assist Benning Park Apartments Residents with Data Communications Challenge

On Thursday, January 24, 2019, OPC Consumer Services staff attended a Benning Park Apartments Board of Directors meeting to discuss the property’s persistent quality of service issues with Verizon’s internet. Slow internet speeds have affected the performance of security cameras on the property. With the recent increase in criminal activity in the area, the residents of Benning Park Apartments’ 229 apartments have shared their concerns about security and safety with Board members.

OPC Consumer Services Outreach Specialists Linda Jefferson and Erica Jones provided support for Larry Davis and David Jefferson of Edgewood Management Corporation and Mary Jackson, Patricia Pane, Nora Tillery, Ella Luke, Russell Simmons, and Christopher Owen, the Benning Park Apartments Board of Directors in their discussions with Verizon representatives. The company was represented by Martin Vermillion, Mario Acosta Velez, and Donald Thompson. During the meeting, Mr. Vermillion and Mr. Thompson explained that Benning Park Apartments’ distance from Verizon’s office prevented their ability to receive higher speed DSL internet. To increase the internet speed needed for the security cameras, Verizon would have to install FIOS service at no cost to property management. At the conclusion of the meeting, the action plan was to review the FIOS proposal letters previously sent by Verizon. Board members said they had not received the proposal. The terms of the property’s current 10-year contract with Comcast would also be reviewed.

OPC will meet with the tenants soon to discuss the agency’s role as the District’s utility consumer advocate and how staff can assist with utility concerns they may have.