Support our mission

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — Verizon Internet users at Misawa won’t see a promised increase in bandwidth — meaning faster service — for months, according to AAFES officials.

In a statement posted on the Misawa Air Base Web site last week, Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials reported that "significant progress has been made toward resolving the remaining service issues" with Verizon’s telephone and Internet product for customers living on base.

AAFES has said it’s working with the contractor to fix the primary issue, which is a bandwidth that will provide reliable and quick Internet service.

According to last week’s statement, "increased capability should be available in the next few months," and Verizon "continues to fine-tune its network topology to increase operational efficiency."

The number of customer complaints filed with Verizon indicates many Misawa residents have reported dissatisfaction with the service since Verizon assumed the contract on March 30, promising up to a 400 percent increase in speed over the previous contractor.

Larry Marshall, an AAFES spokesman in Dallas, said Verizon reported 140 unresolved customer complaints on June 5. He said that number represented 5 percent of Verizon’s 2,800 Misawa customers.

Customers such as Rebecca Pate have said their service still can be annoyingly slow, and they often suffer complete outages. Pate said she and others have complained that they can’t stay in touch with their deployed loved ones, work on their online college classes or pay their bills through online banks.

Marshall said via e-mail Thursday that he was unable to arrange interviews for this story.

According to the online update, Verizon has streamlined its customer service process and is trying to resolve customer complaints "within three days."

Verizon officials have declined to comment on the customer complaints.

Stripes in 7

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up