“We started in 2004 and have been really aggressive at getting fiber out there. But in order to get the return on our investment we need to focus on areas that we’ve already built,” said Jon Davies, a spokesman for Verizon FiOS. ”We slowed down the build and really did a lot of direct marketing and door-to-door to get those customers to sign up.”
Davies says FiOS TV is still expanding in our area, just not as fast as planned. I guess that means if you’re getting FiOS sales people knocking on your door, you are still on the list to get service soon.
In Orange County, FiOS is in certain parts of Brea, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, La Habra, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Stanton, Westminster and certain unincorporated areas.
This is a major detour from the glowing report the company gave two weeks ago to announce that FiOS service was now available to 1 million California households. Not to mention, the slowdown goes against the statement made by Eric Rabe, Verizon’s senior vice president of media relations, that Verizon is building as fast as it can.
Davies said Rabe was referring to the national rollout. This slowdown, as far as Davies knows, is specific to Southern California.
The delay has absolutely nothing to do with the economy, Davies said, despite notices like the one on the city of Walnut’s web site (and confirmed after a call to the city) saying otherwise:
“I think some cities have jumped to conclusions,” Davies said. “In some areas, maybe they saw that there was not so much activity going on so they jumped to conclusions.”
Verizon launched FiOS TV service in Orange County in 2007, offering residents an alternative to cable and satellite TV. Its fiber-optic service, which often requires digging up local streets and front yards to lay cable, has been praised for the variety of channels, quality of service and lower prices. Recently, however, some readers put a damper on the FiOS parade and complained about installation and service issues.
However, Davies added, Verizon is still expanding in Orange County — just not as fast as it originally planned.
“We’re still doing construction right now. But in the first four to five years, we were going at a very high rate to pass 1 million homes. In the first half of this year, we’ve slowed down the build,” he said.
He expects FiOS to get back on its scheduled rollout in the second half of this year. But he couldn’t say whether that move could once again be deferred if FiOS doesn’t sign up enough customers between now and then.
Thanks to reader tips (this one from a loyal Seal Beach reader), I can find answers to your FiOS questions. Let me know what’s happening with FiOS or U-verse in your hood. I am also compiling a list of locations where the services are available. Just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
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