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Verizon begins fiber optic rollout in Boston

Eight months after their $300 million investment

Verizon FiOS router logo

Verizon is beginning its $300 million FiOS rollout in the Boston area, eight months after it announced that it was building a fiber optic platform. The rollout is expected to take place over the next six years and the company has already installed more than 160 miles of fiber optic wiring.

In a statement, Verizon’s consumer landline business lead Ken Dixon said FiOS service will be offered to more than 25,000 addresses by the end of December. Rollouts will start in Dudley Square Innovation District and expansion will continue street-by-street in Roxbury, Dorchester, Roslindale, and West Roxbury.

Verizon put on an optimistic front, calling residents “the winners” of its FiOS launch and its partnership with the City of Boston. Based on Verizon’s past FiOS launch, however, there are good grounds to be skeptical of the actual benefits Boston residents will reap. In 2008, Verizon partnered with New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT), promising all New York City residents access to fiber by the summer of 2014. What eventuated was a disagreement between DOITT and Verizon over the terms of Verizon’s obligations, when an audit conducted by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and DOITT revealed that there were over 40,000 unfulfilled FiOS requests.

In October 2015, 13 Northeastern mayors (including New York) wrote a letter to Verizon’s CEO, Lowell McAdam, criticizing Verizon’s slow FiOS build out, and its “failure to meet contractual or legislative deadlines to make fiber optic cable service available.” The company responded by saying, “In all areas where Verizon has franchises and agreed to deploy FiOS, we have met or surpassed our deployment obligations.”

According to the Boston Herald, the City of Boston has approved Verizon’s application for a cable license, which allows Verizon to sell and market FiOS.

Update 3:56PM ET 12/7: Clarified that Verizon was awarded its cable license by the City of Boston.