Verizon cuts 600,000 repair calls thanks to 'chronic' customer migration plan

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) continues to make progress with migrating what it calls "chronic" copper customers to its FiOS fiber to the home (FTTH) network, an effort that helped it eliminate 600,000 repair dispatches in 2013 alone.

The telco estimated that as a result of this effort it achieved $100 million in savings.

For this year, it said that it is close to exceeding its goal of migrating 300,000 residential customers from copper to fiber. Since it began the program last year, it has migrated 500,000 lines overall. It has 6.2 million customers connected to fiber vs. 6.1 million on copper.

Besides the operational savings, what's also interesting about this migration is that those customers that get transferred to the fiber-based service tend to purchase higher speeds and bundle two or three services.

During the third quarter, the telco reported that over 40 percent of its existing FiOS customers subscribed to a Quantum tier between 50-500 Mbps.

"What we're seeing is that as these customers move over they are voluntarily buying up in speed," said Fran Shammo, CFO and EVP of Verizon during the Morgan Stanley 13th Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference. "We're seeing about a $20 to $30 ARPU increase once they move over from copper onto FiOS and that's just strictly on a double play."  

Besides the operational savings, Shammo added that "based on the FiOS successfulness, the wireline margin will start to increase in 2014."

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