Verizon (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) has reached an agreement with the City of Boston to install the carrier's FiOS fiber to the premises (FTTP) network to the city. Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the agreement April 12.
The service provider will deploy the fiber-optic network infrastructure throughout the city over a six-year period at an anticipated cost of more than $300 million. The city has pledged to expedite the permitting process to smooth Verizon's path. This likely will include the cable television licensing process that will enable Verizon to offer TV services over the network.
Fiber cable deployment will begin in the Dorchester, West Roxbury, and the Dudley Square neighborhood of Roxbury in 2016, followed by Hyde Park, Mattapan, and other areas of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain. Combined, the neighborhoods represent a mix of residents of different economic means.
At the same time, City Hall and Verizon say that deployments within these areas and other parts of the city will be driven by projected demand for the carrier's services. Borrowing a page from Google Fiber's "fiberhood" concept, potential customers (including small businesses) are being asked to register their interest at verizon.com/BostonFiber. Verizon will prioritize deployments based on how many people in each neighborhood register.
"Boston is moving faster than our current infrastructure can support, and a modern fiber-optic communications platform will make us a next-level city," Mayor Walsh said. "Additionally, it is a priority to ensure that every resident has expanded access to broadband and increasing competition is critical to reaching that goal. I thank Verizon for their investment in Boston and for partnering with the city to provide the foundation for future technology growth."
The agreement adds other elements to the public/private partnership:
- Verizon will be allowed to attach wireless equipment to city street lights and utility poles to improve mobile services.
- The two parties will collaborate on "smart city" initiatives, beginning with a trial that will use sensors and traffic signal control technology to improve traffic safety and lower congestion along the Massachusetts Avenue Vision Zero Priority Corridor.
- Verizon will collaborate with the city to leverage the new communications infrastructure to improve economic development and access to communications services by families in need. To kick start the effort, Verizon has agreed to a $100,000 "Digital Equity" contribution that will support a mobile hotspot lending program at the Boston Public Library.