Verizon to take pre-orders for Boston FiOS service, says city leaders' flexibility was key

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is taking a page out of the Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) playbook, taking pre-orders for FiOS broadband service ahead of its launch in Boston.

CEO Lowell McAdam told investors during the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media And Telecom Conference 2016 that gaining cooperation with city leaders made Boston an attractive community to build out FiOS service.  

"The past administration here wanted the sort of buildout we have done in other areas where you build everywhere and you go in and get penetration," McAdam said. The new administration under Mayor Marty Walsh "were more willing to help us get rights of way, help us push fiber into the neighborhoods, and do more pre-subscription a la the Google model."

In April, Verizon announced an agreement to bring FiOS to Boston via a $300 million, six-year investment plan that will replace the copper network infrastructure with fiber.

Specifically, Verizon has developed a free online registration process that will be used to assess demand and help Verizon prioritize its fiber-optic network construction schedule. Beginning with the Dorchester, West Roxbury and Dudley Square area neighborhoods, Verizon said residents and businesses interested in getting service can visit to register and cast their vote.

By offering consumers to pre-order, Verizon can gauge potential interest in the FiOS service and how it can prioritize builds throughout the city's diverse neighborhoods.

But delivering consumer wireline broadband is only one part of Verizon's Boston fiber buildout equation. Similar to AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon is taking a holistic approach to its fiber build in Boston that will also fulfill the needs of its current 4G and later 5G networks as well as business services and smart city applications.

"What that does for us is it gives us the ability to densify our network for 4G and gives us the ability to deal with enterprise customers that may want fiber into their premises or a small business that might want fiber, and it sets us up for 5G," McAdam said. "The 5G build gives us the ability to do the last mile into a home and provide either broadband, over the top video, or streaming video over one common network architecture."

For more:
- listen to the webcast (reg. req.)

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