Verizon plots Fios expansion to 70K locations in Massachusetts

It feels like Verizon’s Fios service has been a bit on the backburner while the operator has worked to launch and expand its fixed wireless access 5G Home Internet offering. But Verizon is apparently turning its attention back to fiber broadband, announcing plans to deploy Fios to 70,000 new locations in Massachusetts.

Work is set to focus on rollouts in the towns of Worcester, Brockton, Lowell, Everett, Milton, Newburyport and Plainville. A Verizon representative told Fierce it will use a combination of buried and aerial fiber and expects to have all 70,000 locations open for sale by the end of this year.

The Federal Communications Commission’s broadband map shows Verizon already provides fiber service across swaths of eastern Massachusetts, but these cities remain unserved pockets within its existing footprint. Worcester is the second largest city in Massachusetts with a population of more than 206,000 as of 2020. Lowell is fifth with more than 115,000 residents and Brockton sixth with more than 105,000.

Earlier this year, Verizon executives said it planned to open 550,000 new Fios locations for sale in 2022, but the operator has not spoken much since about where exactly it is expanding Fios service. In November, Verizon inked a public-private partnership deal to deploy fiber to more than 1,500 locations in Onondaga County, New York, but that appears to be really the only Fios build announcement it has made in 2022 aside from the one this week.

Verizon recently rolled out a 2-gig offer for Fios customers in New York City and has said it is planning to expand the tier to additional cities in 2023. The newly connected locations in Massachusetts will initially have access to service offering speeds up to 940 Mbps downstream and 880 Mbps upstream, but the operator representative told Fierce Verizon is working on “updating our wire centers to support multi-gig Fios service.”

In Massachusetts, Verizon will be facing off with incumbent cable operators Comcast in Brockton, Everett, Lowell, Newburyport, Milton and Plainville and Charter Communications in Worcester.