Verizon puts $1bn into fibre cabling as demand surges in US

19 Apr 2017

Fibre. Image: iSam iSmile/Shutterstock

Verizon’s dominance in the US telecommunications sphere isn’t a cheap thing to maintain, with a new deal proving the cost of providing connectivity.

Amid a contentious purchase of Yahoo, litigious disputes with New York City over its fibre plans and innovative partnerships in the Far East, Verizon’s 2017 has so far proved colourful, if anything.

A new three-year deal with Corning in the US will see Verizon spending $1.05bn in total on up to 20km of optical fibre each year, from 2018 through 2020.


This new investment is aimed at providing architecture to improve Verizon’s 4G LTE coverage, and speed up the deployment of 5G – the latter being an aspect that all telecoms companies are currently concerned with.

“Corning’s unique combination of capabilities delivers solutions that provide us with performance and cost advantages, as we continue to expand our network coverage and capacity,” said Roger Gurnani, Verizon’s chief information and technology architect.

The company claims it was facing a fibre shortfall, with the deal coming on the back of predictions for future requirements.

Viju Menon, Verizon’s chief supply chain officer, said: “Securing the required volume of optical fibre and hardware solutions with Corning will ensure we meet our planned roll-out schedules.”

For Corning, the major deal follows its own $250m investment to help capitalise on these corporate requirements.

In a New York minute

Last month, New York City filed a lawsuit against Verizon, alleging that the telecoms giant failed to satisfy the terms of its 2008 agreement to provide fibre connectivity to ‘all households’.

Nine years ago, Verizon secured the city-wide cable television tender, and part of the deal was that it would connect every household with its network of fibre cabling.

The benefit for New York City, as officials understood it, was that Verizon’s fast internet connectivity was supported by this cabling too, so TV delivered to homes would be complemented by better broadband speeds.

However, by the time of the lawsuit, Verizon claimed to be connecting just 2.2m of the estimated 3.1m households in the city.

In other recent developments, South Korean telecoms giant KT teamed up with Verizon in April, reportedly making the first ever 5G international holographic call.

The two companies also tested interconnection of their orchestrators, “a key system to control virtual infrastructure resources, based on the software-defined infrastructure known as SDI”. Another first.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic