The recession has a lot of negative effects, but largely, the
technology industry has continued to flourish. Unfortunately, one of
the greatest competitors in the Internet industry seems to be scaling
back their efforts, and the tough economic conditions are primarily to
blame. Verizon made the news in a big way a few years ago, promising to
really add a dose of competition to markets that only had a couple of
ISP choices (mostly from cable and DSL providers).
Internet service was unique; it provided a fiber-based
alternative that delivered fiber all the way to the home, which enabled
users to purchase speeds well over 100Mbps. Those speeds are
practically unheard of, but FiOS was forcing other ISPs to really
consider their offerings. Verizon was able to roll FiOS out to 18 total
states, with some getting a lot more coverage than others. FiOS
provided Internet, TV and phone (if a customer chose), and all were
said to be of excellent quality. In fact, the worse problems FiOS gave
Verizon were in the customer service area; demand was so great that
many offers weren't honored, which generated a good bit of negative PR.
Based on a new Associated Press report, Verizon will be scaling back
future FiOS roll outs, only completing them in markets that they have
promised service and not adding fiber to any area that's not in that
pool. The company will continue to add fiber to homes in Washington,
D.C., New York City and Philadelphia, but some other hopeful cities
(like Baltimore and Boston) are now out of luck.
We know fiber expansion is expensive, and Verizon has already spent
billions on the effort, but it's still tough to see an industry leading
culling their efforts. Hopefully DOCSIS 3.0 will flourish in order to
keep those 100Mbps speeds coming to consumers, but if you were counting
on Verizon to bring those types of speeds to your router, you can
probably keep on wishing.