Verizon challenges Comcast with Medford, Mass. FiOS debut

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has made it official that it's going to offer FiOS TV and Internet service in Medford, Mass., one of the last communities that will be getting the service for some time to come, as the telco turns its focus to increasing FiOS penetration in areas already wired up for the service.

Initially, 75 percent of its Medford's 56,000 residents will have access to 540 total channels, 140 of them in HD, on the telco's Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) network. As more of the network buildout is complete, Verizon will make FiOS available to more Medford residents.

The telco's area competitor is Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and its popular Xfinity video and data services suite.

To date, Verizon offers FiOS in 112 towns and cities in Massachusetts, a product of the telco's $23 billion nationwide buildout.

Following two years of negotiations, the service provider and the city officially signed the video franchise agreement on Feb 3. Previously, the telco put the Medford FiOS buildout on hold in 2010 following a companywide decision to halt FiOS installation in new communities and stop franchise negotiations with communities like Medford.

And if a community does not have FiOS, it's unlikely it'll be getting the service anytime soon.

"We are finishing all of the communities that we have begun," Phil Santoro, a Verizon spokesperson, told "We're still building out every community where we are" across the country.

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