Broadband services

Verizon Bundles Amazon Prime to Pump 1-Gig Fios

Verizon will try to move the needle for its relatively new 1-Gig Fios Internet service this holiday season by bundling in a year of Amazon Prime to new customers.

In addition to free shipping perks, Amazon Prime, which sells for $119 a year, also includes a large video streaming library of Amazon originals, licensed movies and TV shows and Thursday night NFL games.

As for the deal, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) will give a free year of Amazon Prime to new 1-Gig subs (or an additional second year of the service if they already have Amazon Prime). Verizon will also toss in an Amazon Echo device to Fios subs who bundle 1 Gig with TV or phone service and make a two-year commitment.

Bundling options aside, the promo's true center is Fios Gigabit Connection, a service that Verizon launched in April 2017, and, despite the Gig-focused branding, actually tops out at 940 Mbit/s down and 880 Mbit/s upstream.

The Amazon Prime combo is another indicator that Verizon is turning to OTT video options to flesh out its broadband connectivity business. In another recent example, Verizon is bundling in three free months of YouTube TV service to customers who sign on for its new 5G Home fixed wireless Internet service. (See Verizon's Home-Grown 5G Arrives Today.)

The promo will also bring more attention to Verizon's gigabit offering as cable operators expand their deployments of DOCSIS 3.1 and bring to bear their own 1-Gig service (in the downstream, anyway). (See Charter Nears Gigabit Finish Line and Comcast Wraps Up DOCSIS 3.1 Rollout .)

And the holiday offer also fixates on the good part of Fios's story -- broadband. In Q3, Verizon added 54,000 Fios Internet subs, extending its total to 6.01 million. Thanks in part to pay-TV cord-cutting, Verizon also shed 63,000 Fios Video customers, ending Q3 with 4.49 million.

Speaking on last week's earnings call, Verizon EVP and CFO Matt Ellis attributed the rise in Fios Internet to demand for "high-quality" connectivity as video continues to be hurt by a "secular trend" of cord-cutting and a segment of consumers who are just plain steering clear of pay-TV. He said Verizon has also seen a greater number of customers go with broadband-only plans.

"As we have said before, if you're going to rely on OTT for your video entertainment, you want to make sure you have got a great broadband experience," he said. "And whether that be Fios broadband or now for those customers who can get in-home broadband through 5G, we believe we have the best in-home experience out there for those customers who want to get their entertainment from an OTT fashion."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

brooks7 11/2/2018 | 6:01:18 PM
Re: overlay And you have to have a new OLT....so you have to inject the signal on the same existing fiber and then wdm/split it.  FiOS should have enough link budget to do it, but I know (for a fact that there are plenty of links out there that do not quite meet the intended link budget.

rbkoontz 11/2/2018 | 4:54:26 PM
overlay NG-PON2 is a WDM overlay on the same fiber and splitters as B-PON or G-PON.  Just replace the ONT and then split the customer via WDM to a new NG-PON2 port.  Makes for an easy migration path without wholesale change out of legacy.  Not clear to me if you could share an NG-PON2 feeder service group across multiple B-PON/G-PON feeders.
tmc8080 11/2/2018 | 4:51:56 PM
everything, but LOWER the price It seems Verizon will do just about EVERYTHING BUT lower th price...

1 GIG service has been around for about 2 years already (first as a 750/750 service which was WAY, WAY OVERPRICED), and finally a 940/880ish service which is while more reasonably priced, still has much lower to go if Verizon wants to get mainstream customers, IMO. They need to push it down towards $50 a month to get mainstream consumers onboard. Most people don't have the extra $500 a year to blow on internet service. Even if it is a whiz bang gigabit(ish) symmetrical(ish)..

Maybe in the next few years, they could make it TRUE gigabit (plus)- and everybody upgrades their wifi & ethernet ports to accomodate the extra multi-gigabit spec!

brooks7 11/2/2018 | 2:47:44 PM
Re: Gig-ready The BPON was 622/155 and hard to get a good 1G offering on.  So, also switch OLTs.

Duh! 11/2/2018 | 12:54:36 PM
Re: Gig-ready A large percentage of FiOS subscribers (45%, if I recall) are still on BPON.

Upgrades to 1G obviously involve swapping ONTs and splitter ports. I just checked, and they would do the truck roll for me if I were interested. This is fairly recent; they used to not offer 1G service to existing BPON customers.

They're rumored to be planning to offer residential service on NG-PON2 using the Alexa-based Calix Gigaspire platform. This could be pre-positioning and/or another part of a larger brand tie-up.
Jeff Baumgartner 11/2/2018 | 11:02:59 AM
Gig-ready Verizon isn't saying what % of its Fios internet base is on the new Gigabit service (it's probably not that great yet), but said that offering is now available to nearly 100% of Fios's 15 million home footprint. JB 

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