What Billions In Subsidies Bought: The Final Map Of Verizon's FiOS Fiber
from the that-looks-kind-of-empty dept
Back in 2003, we wrote about Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg’s big bet to actually offer fiber-to-the-home for Verizon internet subscribers. Wall Street absolutely despised this move. While it was actually about offering consumers a better service (i.e., real broadband), short-sighted Wall Street folks don’t like projects that cost a lot to build. Seidenberg ignored them and pushed forward with the FiOS buildout. Of course, the second that Seidenberg retired, Verizon suddenly made it clear that it would finish its planned buildouts, but wouldn’t expand any further. That was five years ago. And, in the last few years, it’s even looked for ways to get out of the wired broadband business entirely, selling off pieces here and there, and focusing on wireless instead. Late last week, it was reported that Verizon was now nearing completion of its promised fiber buildout, and wouldn’t be doing any more. Well, some of its promised fiber buildout. The promises that it made to state officials about 100% coverage to get tax breaks and subsidies? Those it’s backed out of (without giving back the billions it got in subsidies, of course).
So? For all that effort, what did the American public get? Well, Verizon doesn’t like to show it, but here’s the map of all FiOS buildouts, thanks to the folks at Fiber For All:
Still, the simple fact is that if we want true broadband today, fiber is the way to go, but the big broadband players basically don’t care. Verizon used to care, but Wall Street hated the idea of investing to offer what the public wanted, and thus, that option is now gone. And that big gray map is what we have to show for it. Lucky you, if you live in one of those counties. For the rest of us stuck on pokey slow connections, well, too bad.