Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg predicted strong demand for broadband would persist well beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, as the operator posted its highest number of Q1 Fios Internet net additions in six years.
The company added a total of 102,000 Fios Internet customers across its consumer and business segments, with nearly all of these (98,000) coming from the former.
During the company’s Q1 2021 earnings call, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis stated the recent period marked the third consecutive quarter of “strong growth and high take rates” for its Fios Internet product, adding the total was its best Q1 figure since 2015.
Asked about the sustainability of this performance, Vestberg said, “I think personally this will continue, the demand for broadband will continue. We are just starting a total revolution of using technology which is scalable and sustainable in the post-era of the Covid.”
In addition to offering a “great opportunity” to expand its Fios Internet base, Vestberg said this expected demand will also be a boon for its fixed wireless 5G Home Internet product.
“We know how to deal with home broadband, and that is an advantage we have to any others that are trying to do fixed wireless access,” he continued. “Now we’re up to over 30 markets with 5G Home, adding some 20 very recently, so we’re on fire on this right now.”
As of the end of Q1, Verizon had 6.3 million consumer Fios Internet connections, up 5.7% year on year from nearly 6 million. Its total consumer broadband connections stood at 6.7 million, up 3.6% from 6.5 million. Business Fios Internet connections were up 2.7% to 339,000, with business broadband connections down 4.2% to 480,000.
Consumer Fios revenue (which also includes its Fios video offering) of $2.9 billion was up 2.2% year on year, while business Fios revenue was up 5.3% to $276 million.
In terms of Fios revenue, Ellis said broadband subscriber growth and customer uptake of higher speed tiers more than offset pressure on its Fios video product, and would “continue to drive solid revenue performance for us” going forward.
Consolidated revenue of $32.9 billion was up 4% year on year. Profit jumped 25.4% to $5.4 billion.