Thursday, June 19, 2008

Will Verizon Put More Gas In The Fiber Engine?

Reuters posted an interesting article yesterday titled Verizon mulls alternatives to all-fiber FiOS. The article describes how Verizon will continue to roll FiOS out through 2010 passing 18 million customers at a cost of over $20 billion. The article also hints at some plans for beyond 2010.

In an interview yesterday at the NXTcomm telecommunications industry conference in Las Vegas, Verizon Chief Technology Officer Mark Wegleitner told Reuters the company is looking at continued expansion after 2010. Here’s a few quotes from the article:

Wegleitner said "What we'd look for is another approach to Fiber to the Premise (FTTP)."

He sees room to expand FiOS after 2010 to another 18 million users, but shifting away from FTTP could help expand high-speed Internet and video into sparsely populated areas where it is too expensive to build out an all-fiber network.

"I'm not sure what the trigger point would be. There still could be more gas in the engine for FTTP," he said.

I’ve always found the 18 million customer number disturbing because it only covers about 60% of Verizon’s original footprint. With Verizon's sell-off of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to Fairpoint Communications the 60% figure goes up a little bit but not by much.

It looks like the company may be considering Fiber to the Node (FTTN) technology to reach out into the more difficult areas. FiOS is selling extremely well so it makes sense to expand beyond the original plan. I also suspect Verizon is feeling some pressure from the cable companies and their aggressive DOCSIS 3.0 rollout plans.

1 comment:

Sharon Cohen-Hagar said...

From Sharon Cohen-Hagar at Verizon: It's full steam ahead for Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises approach. We've blogged about it at the Verizon PolicyBlog:
http://policyblog.verizon.com/PolicyBlog/Blogs/policyblog/EricRabe9/500/Full-Steam-Ahead-for-FTTP.aspx