US-based Verizon announced its plans to expand fiber-optic networks in the city of Boston. The operator thinks the expansion plans necessary in Boston to strengthen its Northeastern footprint. Current operations of the carrier are limited by its networks and investment in fiber-optic infrastructure would give a huge leap and competitive edge over its rivals.
Many towns surrounding Boston already have Fios, which delivers significantly faster Internet speeds as well as television service. Verizon first started building Fios about a decade ago and has spent more than $23 billion connecting millions of homes in more than a dozen states, but the carrier had been unable to agree with the city to build its network.
It is interesting to note that two of Verizon’s worker’s unions representing nearly 40,000 Verizon employees in the Northeast are prepared to strike on 13 April. Many workers have been working without a contract since August 2015. The unions are pushing for greater job security in addition to disputes over health care and retirement benefits. Unions also demand expansion of the operator’s Fios (fiber broadband) to more cities, an act they think will generate more work.
Verizon will commit more than $300 million over the next six years to the project. The work is scheduled to start this summer. The fiber-optic network will eventually expand to cover the entire Boston. The operator said it has no current plans to expand Fios into other cities. The company was passive for many years and was reluctant to invest in fiber. Once aggressively deployed in many parts of the country, Verizon hasn’t expanded its Fios network into a new city in several years.
Verizon had 7 million Fios Internet subscribers and 5.8 million video subscribers as of December 2015. Earlier this month, the company had closed on the sale of Fios assets in California, Texas, and Florida to Frontier Communications Corp.
Currently, almost 90 percent of Boston’s population has only one option for high-speed broadband service from Comcast Corp. The operator’s fiber-optic network for broadband will support traffic from cellphone towers, which will support its wireless service.