Verizon FiOS Expands Across America
Although they've just begun to be noticed by the population at large, Verizon FiOS is the new kid on the block which may be the next big competition for cable. FiOS is competiting with all three of the big "triple play" services - phone, TV and Internet service.
Verizon FiOS, a new project for communications giant Verizon Communications, has a project that's been steadily attracting customers for the last year. It utilizes completely fiber-optic transmissions for fast and reliable service, backed by what is still the United States' largest network. In addition to new digital phone service, FiOS also provides Internet service that's faster than cable and digital TV service, too. Eventually, FiOS will replace Verizon's existing network.
As of January 2009, Verizon said that it was going to spend $20 billion over the next several years to build a fiber-optic network direct to customers' houses. This network, called FiOS, should be available to 60 to 70% of its current customer base at the end of that time.
Verizon has 375,000 FiOS customers, about 12% of its current available market. At present, about 3 million customers (businesses and homes, both) can get FiOS service. Internet service for FiOS is up, too, with about 111,000 customers to date.
Verizon calls FiOS its best hope to beat cable companies, who have relatively recently jumped on board with phone service, too, as a means to beat traditional telecommunications services. And because cable also includes television and Internet access with this new phone service, Verizon has had to scramble to catch up and is now reestablishing its competitive edge.
Competitors have noticed Verizon's push for FiOS, too. Although Verizon's traditional phone service has dropped significantly in the last several years because of a decrease in landline service and an increase in cell phone service, as well as increased subscription to voice over Internet protocol, FiOS is looking to be its ticket back to the big time.
Because cable companies are increasingly offering so-called "triple play" services (phone, cable, and Internet access), Verizon FiOS has jumped on board with FiOS TV service, in addition to its previously offered phone and Internet access. In its first six months, it has captured about 10% of the available market.
In the fourth quarter of 2007, Verizon posted $23.8 billion in revenues, up 5.5%. This bodes well for its recovery. In the fourth quarter of 2008 alone, it signed 226,000 new FiOS TV customers, with 943,000 total FiOS TV customers by year's end. It also picked up 245,000 FiOS Internet customers versus this time last year.
Verizon FiOS TV plans start at about $50 a month for up to 295 channels, including local channels, highly demanded "upper echelon" channels such as Discovery, TNT, CNN, and ESPN, 14,000 titles of "on-demand" programming, much of which is available at no charge, and with nearly 100 music channels available besides. In addition, the incredible picture and crisp audio are strong benefits for new users to the FiOS world.
FiOS is also running a promotion that gives new customers free DVR service for 6 months. Verizon FiOS continues to expand their service across America in 2009.
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