Verizon affirms North Baltimore won't be getting FiOS

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) made it clear to North Baltimore residents during a recent community meeting that it has no plans to bring FiOS service to their area any time soon.

The residents and business owners of various North Baltimore towns and cities met to address the need to improve overall broadband competition and service. reported North Baltimore Patch, but the discussion turned to why Verizon isn't providing FiOS to their communities.

Tad Bishop, Verizon's vice president of governmental affairs, said that the telco has no immediate plans to bring the service to their communities because it has been focused on meeting existing franchise obligations.

"At this time we've not been extending any franchises anywhere in the country," Bishop told residents during the meeting.

A survey of 322 North Baltimore residents revealed that 48 percent of residents said they were either dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied, with the DSL and cable modem service they got from Verizon and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA).

When asked why Verizon brought FiOS to some Baltimore communities and not others, Bishop said it was a business decision and there are proprietary issues it does not publicly share.  

"These are the kind of things we don't put on display," he said.

Baltimore and a number of other Northeast communities, including Boston and three cities in New York--Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo--last year lobbied the FCC to block Verizon's purchase of wireless spectrum from Comcast because the sale would ensure they'll never get FTTH service.

At that time, Curt Anderson, chair of the Baltimore City Delegation to the Maryland House of Delegates, said that the deal would create "a lack of competition in telecommunications will raise prices and reduce service quality."

The broader reality that North Baltimore faces is that Verizon has decided that it's done with FiOS expansion program.

Lowell McAdam, Verizon's chairman and CEO, said last year that the focus for FiOS will be on increasing the penetration in existing markets and migrating problem copper-based customers to fiber .

For more:
- North Baltimore Patch has this article

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