Verizon is planning to build 500,000 new Fios passings in 2023 as it works to increase its overall footprint to 18 million locations. An operator representative told Fierce it is “actively building” in all nine of the states where it already offers Fios service.
In a series of recent press releases, the operator has laid out plans to pass more than 70,000 new locations in Massachusetts, nearly 2,000 in Delaware, 1,500 in upstate New York and 349 in Virginia.
According to the representative, Verizon is both fleshing out coverage within its existing territory and “introducing Fios to areas where it was previously unavailable.” As with some earlier Fios builds, it is using NG-PON2 technology for new construction and is working to enable NG-PON2 in older Fios areas.
The operator rolled out a 2-gig service in New York City last year, but expansion of the offering beyond the metro area has been slow. However, the representative said consumers in some new build zones, including those in Delaware and New York, will be able to get 2-gig service from the get-go.
The build in Delaware that Verizon touted this week will be completed with more than $6 million in state-provided American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and finished within 12 months. It appears to be related to the state’s Universal Broadband initiative, as part of which Verizon received $11.8 million in funding last year to reach around 3,000 homes. The same locations Verizon listed in its press release this week – Camden, Dover, Smyrna, Bridgeville and Ocean View – are all areas for which it won funding in Delaware, the state’s GIS map shows.
ARPA funding is also fueling Verizon’s build in New York, with the operator having received $11.1 million for an $18 million project in Onandaga County back in November. The initial phase of that project was due to be complete within one year, or by November 2023.
In Massachusetts, Verizon is building in Worcester, Brockton, Lowell, Everett, Milton, Newburyport and Plainville. Its projects there do not appear to be grant-funded, though the state in October got $145 million from the U.S. government for a new Broadband Infrastructure Gap Networks Grant program.
Likewise, Verizon’s build in Virginia doesn’t appear to be grant funded. However, the operator did apply for around $5 million in 2023 Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI) grants covering 854 locations in Caroline County and another 1347 in Greensville County.
Elsewhere, Verizon also appears to be chasing grant funding for three Fios expansion projects in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. The 2023 Connect Maryland Network Infrastructure Grant program is set to provide up to $95 million in funding for broadband projects. The last batch of awards from the program was awarded in July 2022.