February 14, 2014

Given Verizon’s FiOS expansion has stopped in most places (unless you’re somewhere with franchise obligations), the only way DSL users will be getting FiOS is if your regional core infrastructure is upgraded and your line is perennially problematic. During yesterday’s earnings call Verizon stated they migrated some 223,000 “troublesome” lines from copper to fiber, most of those in regions impacted by Sandy.

The company says they plan to migrate another 300,000 copper users in 2013. With 3.3 million copper users, Dan Jones at Light Reading correctly notes that’s a rather slow pace:

The transition from copper to fiber in areas where FiOS is available, however, will be a long-term process. Shammo said Verizon hit its target of 200,000 customers moved in 2012 and that “our target is 300,000 this year.” Verizon currently still has some 3.3 million customers on copper. So it will be a long-term process for Verizon to actually see all the savings it gets from not operating copper, particularly as its FiOS footprint in the U.S. is by no means comprehensive.

Unmentioned is what happens to the majority of the rest of those un-upgraded customers. As we’ve been noting, Verizon’s hiking prices on many of them by forcing them to bundle old-fashioned voice service, which either results in those users fleeing to more-expensive and heavily capped Verizon LTE, or into the arms of cable operators. That’s assuming that Verizon doesn’t engage in another round of asset sales to a smaller telco. These are customers Verizon simply no longer wants, but the telco’s beating around the bush about that fact. via @ethernut

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