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Verizon FiOS Picking Up Speed: Landline Losses Continue

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Verizon Communications reported fourth-quarter earnings this morning (see here for all the details), and it looks like FiOS is gaining momentum. The company added 303,000 FiOS TV subscribers in the fourth quarter and almost 1 million in 2008, bringing the total to 1.9 million out of 9.2 million homes that have access to the service. In contrast, AT&T (s t) is hoping to have 1 million subscribers to its rival IPTV offering, U-verse, by the end of the year.

On the data side, Verizon (S VZ) said 282,000 homes added FiOS high-speed data in the fourth quarter, and almost 1 million added it in 2008 for a total of 2.5 million subscribers out of almost 10 million homes passed. Those additions helped make up for losses in Verizon’s DSL business, which lost 68,000 DSL-based connections in the most recent three-month period after losing 96,000 during the previous quarter.

Verizon’s consumers also continued to drop their landline telephones, but not as rapidly as some had feared. In the fourth quarter, Verizon lost 3 percent of landline subscribers, up slightly from the 2.8 percent loss in the same period last year. In 2008 Verizon lost 12.2 percent of its landlines leaving 20.96 million still connected; it lost 10.8 percent of them in 2007.

The wireless business did well in the most recent quarter, adding 1.2 million customers as compared to 2 million added in the same period last year, and turning in $11.1 billion in service revenue, up 12 percent from the same period in 2007. I’ll go into more detail on how wireless data is faring during the recession tomorrow after AT&T reports its most recent quarterly results.

11 Responses to “Verizon FiOS Picking Up Speed: Landline Losses Continue”

  1. Diane K. DeGezelle

    Did you know that FiOS is not regulated because it is not lines? Did you know that when you have a dispute with Verizon, the utility commission in PA has no jurisdiction over the situation?
    FiOS sounds great on paper. Verizon’s adds make FiOS sound tested and safe. If you are a business line I would be leery of Verizon’s claims. We our business line to Verizon FiOS in 2007. We had problems getting calls. Verizon techs rewired our phone lines in our house. Still had problems, but Verizon insisted that it was our equipment as they were finding no problems with the FiOS service when they did their “In Office Service Test”. We could find no problems with our equipment, nothing changed. We got too many wrong number’s calling us, many one rings and then cut off calls (could not use *69 or caller ID because they need two rings to record data), and people were constantly telling us they could not get through to our phone number. Fast forward to August 2008. My husband was trying to make a call to a government office, “OVR” with the state of PA. He could not get through with the number his customer had given him so he asked the customer to try and call the number himself. The customer got through the first time he called the number and decided that my husband was an idiot because he did not know how to use a phone. I called Verizon, they refused to send a tech because their “IN OFFICE SERVICE TEST” showed that everything was working. We hooked a phone to the outside box and tried to make a call and could not call our daughter. I called Verizon back, with great disdain, after asking to talk with a supervisor, Verizon finally agreed to send out a tech. Out of the tech’s mouth, “those “In Office Service Test” are no good and unreliable. They always show that the service is fine.” After 18 months of trouble with our phone, Verizon admitted the the soft ware that was connected to our FiOS service was not working properly. A business, with 18 months of unreliable phone service, a year and a half that customers could not get through. In 2007 $46,000, in 2008 $11,000. Verizon refunded our payment for the FiOS phone service, but Verizon says they do not have to pay for lost wages. . . . . it’s in the “tariff laws”. Needless to say, if your are a business I would be careful about changing from copper wire lines to FiOS service.

  2. I’m not actually surprise with the report, the trend nowadays is mobility. And I guess their telephone service subscribers didn’t drop rapidly as other competitors are because the way I see it, they have a good service offering bundled with their other FiOS services.

  3. Like Diane, I had problems with the service at first. To their credit they were very accommodating, and gave me a service credit (I had to ask). Once things were ironed out the service turned from a headache into a balm: I love my FiOS.

  4. we switched to verizon fios in march 2007 we had problems verizon sent service peeps out to fix we were told that the problem was not fios, but our inside equipment verizon service tech helped rewire inside phones, we bought new equipment still had same problems verizon continued to assert that the problem was in our equipment what were we to do we could not prove that fios was not working properly reps had done in-house testing and stated fios was working properly flash forward to summer 2008 we were still having same problems in august we flat out could not dial to a government office, but our customer could he called my husband stupid for not being able to work the phone we called verizon they ran in-house test said they were not sending tech to our location there were no signs of problems on verizon side verizon said it was still our equipment rep told me to go out to the outside box and plug the phone in and see if there was a dial tone. . . if there was a tone, phone was working fine i asked if i should try to make some calls from outside box rep said you can’t do that tech do it all the time we had a tone, but guess what. . . . . could not make calls. . . i tried begrudgingly verizon rep said that a tech would be dispatched tech could not call anyone either long story short. . . . . the fios software was not working. . . . for 18mnths. . . .this is our business we are talking about . . . . our income is off by $25,000.00 for 2008 verizon gave us a refund for the phone service from march 2007 to august 2008 we are still out a good deal of income verizon still uses these in-house test that the techs all said are worthless as they show false results

  5. its nice to see that FIOS is doing well – and capturing a decent market share. Hopefully they will hurry up and offer the service to the rest of us. Its annoying to know that its available less than 20 miles away and they haven’t yet brought it to you.

  6. I am not surprised that people are letting their landlines go. Everyone relies on their cell phone these days. One day our children will ask us what was a landline. Old news. A pretty decent quarter overall for Verizon FiOS.

  7. Scarhawk

    How are they “losing” DSL subscribers? Seems like people are just upgrading to FiOS. Same with landline, they’re just switching to mobile phones, which cost more. Verizon should be happy even if the VP of copper wiring is not.