Verizon Blows Network Upgrade Money At The Mall
from the can-you-deploy-to-me-now dept
Verizon has used some fairly untraditional and flexible (for a massive telco) techniques when it comes to advertising their FiOS residential fiber broadband & TV service. They’ve parked FiOS logo emblazoned Hummers on street corners, advertised the service on pizza boxes and dry cleaning bags, and even doled out ice cream to children at “Fios Festivals” while pitching the promise of HD over fiber to mom and dad. Yet it’s the fact that Verizon has opened several FiOS mall stores that seems to have excited the Associated Press. The stores, dubbed “Verizon Experience,” offer users a chance to get up close and personal with Fios HD service in simulated living rooms, but only if you live in two of the nation’s most competitive broadband markets (Fairfax, Virginia and Southlake, Texas). It’s not clear why every time a company opens a brick and mortar store it’s treated as a revolutionary concept — the AP suggests such stores are new, but fails to note that Time Warner Cable, Cox, and Comcast have had similar interactive mall stores since 1994. Taking a page from the Apple or Sony Stores before them, the Verizon Experience seems like little more than an incredibly expensive and inefficient form of advertising. In Verizon’s case there’s an additional twist, since the stores “sell” a product many people can’t (or may never) get due to limited deployment. On top of the additional TV income from each customer, Verizon says upgrading a home from copper to fiber saves them $110 per line, per year in maintenance costs — so why not use the money spent on mall rent to wire additional homes with fiber?