We've noted for some time that Verizon's FiOS expansion is over, with the exception of areas (mostly large cities) where they're still pursuing franchise build-out obligations. Given that this leaves not only millions of rural customers but major cities (Buffalo, Boston, Alexandria, Baltimore) only older DSL lines, the question has always remained whether expansion could be fired back up at a later date. With Verizon's new deal with the cable industry
those questions have grown somewhat louder, with many wondering if the deal included under-the-table agreement by Verizon not to expand FiOS into any new cable territories.
Testifying before Congress this week
to defend the deal, Verizon's General Counsel Randal Milch made it rather clear that Verizon had never had any intention to expand FiOS further. As the webcast
(around minutes 35 and 66) notes, Milch made it pretty clear that there's no plan for FiOS expansion -- adding that "Wall Street punished us for investing in FIOS."
Verizon's strategy has been to upgrade key markets with FioS, sell a large chunk of unwanted markets, then fill in what's left with either mobile or fixed LTE services that cost less to deploy and support for numerous reasons. There might
be a day where Verizon singles out some areas where it just doesn't make sense to leave customers without upgrades -- like Boston -- but it's pretty clearly not happening anytime soon.
Wireless is Verizon's quarterly returns love affair now, since it's a sector where the company can enjoy non-unionized labor while charging users $10 per gigabyte in overages. Keep in mind they're also planning an over the top video partnership with Red Box to be launched later this year
that will be layered on top of their fixed LTE service as Verizon pushes for nationwide branding.