After years of winding down its FiOS investments, Verizon made a surprise announcement today stating that it will extend its fiber network into Bean Town with plans to negotiate a TV franchising agreement as well. Also on the docket, Verizon says it will conduct a "Smart Cities" trial to address local traffic issues, and will experiment with additional sensor-driven technologies in Boston in the future.
The news that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is planning to bring FiOS Internet and TV service to Boston comes as a shock after the telco recently divested itself several of several FiOS markets in a sale to Frontier Communications Corp. (NYSE: FTR). As DSLReports notes, many of Boston's suburbs have already been upgraded to fiber infrastructure, but the city itself has been surviving on copper wire. (See Frontier Takes Over FiOS Tomorrow.)
The latest Verizon move comes as other service providers are focusing heavily on targeted high-speed broadband deployments in gigabit cities around the country. So far Verizon hasn't launched residential gigabit services anywhere, but the company is in the process of selecting vendors for a network upgrade to next-generation PON technology. NG-PON2 would make it easy for Verizon to offer gigabit broadband, and even 10-Gig and 40-Gig services in the future. (See Verizon Preps Next Major Broadband Upgrade.)
In light of today's announcement, it's also important to note that Verizon workers are planning a strike beginning tomorrow in an ongoing fight with the telco over job terms and security. One issue union workers have raised is that they'd like to see Verizon convert more of its copper networks to fiber.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading