Verizon Hails Boston Fios Launch but Eyes 5G
Verizon has announced the launch of Fios TV, Internet and phone service in new Boston-area neighborhoods, the result of a deal with the city earlier this year to extend fiber and wireless services to the region. However, while the current Fios deployment is based on fiber to the home, Verizon's commitment isn't really to the FTTH model. Instead, the company has made clear that it's planning to "densify" its fiber footprint in the Boston metro and then use that infrastructure to support a variety of revenue-driving services also including wireless broadband, wireless video and smart city applications.
The strategy makes sense from a business perspective but it has left some consumers in the area unhappy about not getting access to FTTH broadband. It also leaves open the question of where exactly Verizon will deploy fiber going forward, and who will benefit from that investment. (See Gigabites: 'No Boundary' on Verizon Fiber Expansion.)
Complicating matters is the fact that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam also took the opportunity on Tuesday to promote the idea of bundling over-the-top video service with 5G wireless broadband, a strategy that he says the company will start trialing in select towns early next year. Given the company's investments in the Boston area, it's a good bet that some of those trials will take place within or adjacent to the region, but just how far the new services will ultimately extend geographically, and whether they'll provide a reasonable alternative to cable wireline offerings, remains to be seen.
Speaking at the UBS Global Media and Telecommunications Conference, McAdam said the video service will be some bundle of OTT content paired with wireless gigabit-speed Internet service.
As of now, Verizon's FTTH Fios service is newly available in parts of the Dorchester, Roslindale and West Roxbury neighborhoods around Boston. Verizon says that more than 25,000 addresses in the region will have access to Fios by the end of the year.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading