Verizon’s message surrounding its One Fiber project has been, to put it mildly, disorganized. Kyle Malady, President of Global Networks and Technology, stated in June 2021 that the operator was 80% finished with core development on its new global backbone. Then, in November 2021, Verizon executive Ed Chan stated that the company intended to be two-thirds of the way through its One Fiber construction by the end of that year. Malady provided the same 80% progress number at an investor conference last week, almost a year and a half after his initial comment. So, what’s the deal?
For context, Verizon’s One Fiber Build began in 2016, when the operator decided that it would rather own than lease the fibre that connects its cell towers. According to the rationale, the same transport network may be utilized for wireless towers, home broadband, and business services. It began with a Boston build and revealed intentions to run fiber to more than 60 locations outside of its ILEC region.
According to an operator spokesman, investors can rest certain that the project has not been stalled. Instead, the spokesman stated that Malady’s seemingly contradictory assertions were the product of miscommunication. Despite the fact that a transcript of his 2021 statements did not make it obvious, Malady was alluding to advances in several specific markets whereas last week he was speaking to progress on the overall build, the representative said.
“In 2023, the entire One Fiber initiative is 80% complete with many markets already 100% built,” the representative told Fierce. “So no, we have not slowed down and there were no major delays in construction or the supply chain impacting that build.”
But there’s also the issue of how many One Fiber markets exist. Verizon has stated since its inception in 2016 that One Fiber will serve more than 60 markets. However, in response to a question regarding the company’s capital investment projections for the coming years, CEO Hans Vestberg stated something unusual at an investor conference last month.
“We’re virtually in 80 markets with our fibre,” he remarked, emphasizing that the company’s fibre rollout is nearing completion.
Vestberg’s remark could have been a simple typo. When asked for more information, a Verizon employee merely stated, “We have 60+ OneFiber markets.”
Regardless of the number of markets, construction work is projected to continue throughout the year. In November, CFO Matt Ellis said it has already completed core metro construction work in more than half of its target markets and expects to have “substantially all” of those builds done by the end of the year. After that, fiber deployments will be “success-based,” to meet demand where needed, he said.