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Verizon CFO says Fios expansion offers cost, environmental benefits

Verizon may not be pursuing a massive expansion of its fiber footprint like some competitors, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t see value in the smaller scale work it’s doing with Fios.

During an investor conference, Verizon CFO Matt Ellis reiterated the company is working to add around 400,000 open-for-sale locations within its ILEC footprint in 2021 and for “at least the next two to three years.”

Some of these additions are related to new build activity, with Verizon swooping in to “wire Fios in upfront” in houses and apartment buildings as they’re constructed by developers. But Ellis noted Verizon is also continuing efforts to replace copper with fiber, giving it the opportunity to pull out copper assets that are expensive to operate and have higher emissions than newer equipment.

There “continues to be an opportunity to expand the Fios footprint within our existing ILEC space and not just get the revenue opportunities from expanding the size of the Fios customer base, but also some cost benefits and green benefits from removing some of the copper network at the same time,” he explained.

Ellis said its Fios service has performed consistently well over the past year in terms of net additions, attributing this in part to consumers seeking out better broadband service as a result of the pandemic.

“It's just shown the value of a very high-quality product,” he said. “We're seeing that both in the gross add side of bringing new customers in, but also the churn side as well.”

Verizon added 129,000 wireline subscribers in Q3 2021, with Fios contributing 104,000 net additions. It ended the quarter with 6.49 million Fios internet connections, with this figure up 6.2% year on year from 6.11 million.

On the operator's earnings call, executives said its broadband segment achieved "historically low churn rates" but did not provide breakout or year-over-year comparison figures for this metric.

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