Bye-bye FiOS? Verizon winding down its FTTH rollout

It turns out those cable guys who predicted that FiOS was too expensive, even for a deep-pocketed telco like Verizon, were right all along. The telco is winding down its FTTH play and concentrating on communities where it already has franchises. For those in the Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C. areas this means that Verizon will stick around to finish what it started; those in Boston and Baltimore will be outta luck, as they say.

Verizon, which never claimed it would cover 100 percent of its footprint with FiOS--and that alone raised some cable franchising hackles--has been hammered by the recession and isn't about to throw money around. Even with the wind down, Verizon still will offer FiOS to 18 million households by the end of 2010 and that's nothing at which to sneeze.

Nevertheless, the news that FiOS is coming to a halt about as fast as a supertanker approaching a reef probably has some folks in Lewisboro, N.Y. a bit antsy. The populace there wants FiOS to compete with Cablevision Systems but talks with the town have stalled because Verizon is challenging some level playing field rules that are part of cable franchise agreements. The town is already partially wired for FiOS and some parts have Internet service but TV is still out there. A local official said Lewisboro has twice asked Verizon to provide a survey of the aerial wiring and the telco has yet to comply.

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