Verizon remains unwilling to bring FiOS to Boston despite city's permitting, regulations concessions

Boston may be willing to bend over backwards to give Verizon (NYSE: VZ) anything it needs to wire up the city with FTTH, but that plea fell on deaf ears as the telco recently told the City Council it won't bring the service to any new areas.

The service provider gave its standard answer in a Boston Herald article, saying that it will not bring the service to any areas where it has not been granted a franchise agreement.

"We never said we would go everywhere, and we don't have any intention of expanding FiOS here or anywhere else," said Peter Bowman, a Verizon vice president. "We continue to be focused on building out where we have contractual agreements."

Having FiOS come to Boston would be a welcome change of competition in a market that today is dominated by Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), with RCN serving some parts of the city. Verizon currently offers FiOS in parts of the Seaport District, downtown neighborhoods and parts of Dorchester, while the rest of the city can only get access to its copper-based DSL service.

In March, Verizon's CFO Fran Shammo told investors that it will only honor existing local franchising authority (LFA) agreements in areas like Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C., and has not disclosed any plans to expand into new areas.

To entice the telco to bring its FTTH to the city, city councilors told Verizon last week that Boston would ease regulatory restrictions, including the permitting process to build out service and gaining access to existing rights of way.

"The city is willing to do whatever we need to do to facilitate private broadband investment in a way that is beneficial to all of Boston," said Jascha Franklin-Hodge, chief information officer for Boston.

Boston is hardly alone in its frustration.

A group of 14 East Coast mayors sent a letter to Lowell McAdam, CEO of Verizon, asking the telco to expand its FiOS FTTH network into more areas that have limited access to high speed services.

In New York City, the telco last week found itself defending its FiOS buildout record with the city council. During a hearing with councilors, Verizon said it met its obligations of homes passed with FTTH and that property owner disputes have hampered its ability to reach a number of potential customers.

For more:
- Boston Herald has this article

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