Verizon FiOS to take on Comcast in Boston

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has promised to invest $300 million over the next six years to bring its FiOS fiber-to-the-home services to Boston, closing a major coverage gap in the Northeast for FiOS, while providing newfound competition for Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) in the areas of high-speed internet and pay-TV services.

Starting this summer, Verizon will replace copper with fiber in city regions including Dorchester, West Roxbury and Dudley Square. FiOS will eventually roll out in Hyde Park, Mattapan and other areas of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.

Verizon said the city has pledged to make obtaining a franchise agreement quick and relatively easy.

"The city has also agreed to provide an expedited permitting process to encourage this build," Verizon said in a press release announcing the plan.

Verizon has spent $23 billion over the last decade deploying FiOS video, internet and phone services in more than a dozen states. The service now touts around 7 million internet users and 5.8 million pay-TV customers. For cable, the fiber competition has often resulted in lower margins and increased churn. 

Currently, city officials say that about 90 percent of Boston residents have only one option, Comcast, for HSI and pay-TV. 

Verizon's announcement came the same day that the company used its corporate blog to protect its political reputation in the Northeast and aggressively respond to remarks made by Vermont Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. On Monday night, in a University of Buffalo campaign speech, Sanders said that Verizon has "not paid a nickel" in taxes.

"Let's set the record straight: Verizon complies with all tax laws and pays the taxes it owes under the law," the company said. "In 2015, that amounted to $8.445 billion. That's $5.293 billion in income taxes (net amount of any refunds the company received); $1.284 billion in employment taxes related to its 177,700 employees; and $1.868 billion in property and other taxes."

The company directed readers to its recent 10-K filing with the SEC for proof. 

For more:
- read this Verizon press release
- read this Wall Street Journal story

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