Verizon expands fiber push

Verizon this week said it is expanding its fiber-to-the-premises rollout to six more states.

The carrier plans to deploy FTTP facilities and services to homes and businesses in Virginia as well as in parts of Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania - bringing to nine the total number of states where FTTP work is under way. The company had previously announced FTTP deployments in California, Florida and Texas.

Verizon plans to pass some 1 million homes and businesses with the new technology this year, and 2 million additional homes and businesses next year. The carrier also said it will hire between 3,000 and 5,000 new employees by the end of 2005 to help build the network, and will invest $800 million in FTTP this year.

The fiber facilities will support Verizon's new FiOS data service, which offers download speeds of 5M bit/sec, 15M bit/sec and 30M bit/sec. Upstream speeds are up to 2M bit/sec for the first two products and 5M bit/sec for the third.

The 5M bit/sec service sells for $34.95 per month when purchased with a package of Verizon services, and $39.95 when purchased separately.

FiOS services are already or soon will be available in parts of California, Florida and Texas. Verizon expects to begin marketing FiOS services in Falls Church, Va., and some other communities over the next several months. 

The carrier expects to market video services on the new FTTP network next year.

Earlier this week, SBC announced that it has awarded Alcatel a $1.7 billion contract to serve as integrator for SBC's Project Lightspeed fiber deployment, which is intended to deliver IPTV, high-speed broadband services, IP voice and wireless bundles of products to 18 million households by year-end 2007.

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