Verizon Communications stock fell more than 3 percent during trading today after it said it will spend $22.9 billion to rewire more than half of its copper telephone network with fiber optics so it can sell cable TV and fast Internet connections. The project is called FiOS.
I wrote a story on Monday that detailed why Verizon and others are feeling the pressure to provide new services to complete their “quadruple play.”
Other companies are turning to wireless broadband, or WiMax, to provide Internet and phone services. Satellite TV companies DirecTV and EchoStar in particular are looking at it because they currently can’t provide Internet access or phone access with their technology.
With Verizon’s announcement on how much the project will cost, it’s starting to make WiMax appear cheap in comparison.
Kirkland-based Clearwire has raised more than $2 billion to roll out part of a nationwide network, and Sprint Nextel pledged $3 billion to provide WiMax service to 100 million people within a couple of years.