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Verizon CFO says Fios expansion chugging along

For whatever reason, Verizon’s Fios build has been relegated to a footnote in the company’s larger broadband plans, but CFO Matt Ellis indicated the operator is aiming to open another 500,000 locations for sale in 2023 as its wired expansion effort continues apace.

Verizon added 550,000 Fios locations to its footprint in 2022, ending the year with a total of more than 17.1 million passings and 6.7 million Fios internet customers. During an investor conference on Tuesday, Ellis said that clip will continue in 2023 and beyond.

“I expect we’ll do roughly half a million premises open for sale on an annual basis for a few years going forward,” he stated.

Ellis acknowledged its Fios footprint is relatively small compared to some other wired broadband providers, but noted it posted 200,000 net additions in 2022 and “we’ve shown you can continue to add customers there.”

“The great thing is as we do that roughly half a million premises per year, you get the open for sale opportunity, but you also get the benefit of retiring copper network as well and that’s a significant part of the equation for us too,” he added. “So, there’s still runway on the Fios side of the business as well within the existing footprint.”

Verizon said in March 2022 it had already converted 4.5 million copper circuits to fiber, but has not provided an update in public remarks since. At the time, it said it was aiming to reach to 18 million Fios locations open for sale and 8 million internet subscribers by the end of 2025.

It’s worth noting that the residential Fios build is separate from but related to Verizon’s One Fiber initiative, which is more focused on its metro backbone infrastructure. The One Fiber project began in 2016 and Ellis said it is expected to be nearing completion by the end of this year.

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