New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities is ordering Verizon to provide reliable landline telephone service to two rural municipalities in western Cumberland County, state Sen. Jeff Van Drew said.

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The service – which involves the installation of fiber optic transmission lines – should be in place in Greenwich and Stow Creek townships by the end of the year, said Van Drew, D-Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic.

Van Drew said BPU officials will likely make the formal announcement in a few days. Verizon must file a plan with the BPU on how it will follow through on the agency’s orders, he said.

The order follows complaints by residents in those municipalities about longstanding problems with landline, cellular and broadband service by Verizon.

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