Verizon Keeps FiOS Fire Stoked in Q4

Telco Adds 92,000 FiOS TV Subs, 126,000 FiOS Internet Subs To Offset DSL Losses 1/21/2014 9:10 AM Eastern

Verizon Communications’ fiber-fed FiOS platform kept the momentum going into the fourth quarter, as the telco added 126,000 net new FiOS Internet connections and 92,000 new FiOS video customers.

However, the rate of growth in both categories slowed versus the year-ago quarter, when Verizon added 144,000 FiOS  Internet subs and 134,000 FiOS video customers.

With the latest quarter factored in, Verizon ended 2013 with 6.1 million FiOS Internet and 5.3 million FiOS video customers. From a penetration standpoint, FiOS Internet rose to 39.5%, versus 37.3% in the year-ago quarter, while FiOS Video grew from to 35% from 33.3%. Verizon said its FiOS network passed 18.6 million homes at the end of 2013.

FiOS customers continue to gravitate to Verizon’s higher-end tier, as 46% of FiOS Internet customers subscribed to Quantum, a tier that provides speeds from 50 Mbps to 500 Mbps, up from 41% at the end of the third quarter of 2013. By the end of 2013, 55% of consumer FiOS Internet sales were for speeds of at least 50 Mbps, the company said.

FiOS Internet subscriber gains were enough to overcome the continued shedding of DSL customers. Verizon said it net broadband connections increased by 20,000 in the fourth quarter, meaning it lost about 106,000 DSL customers. The telco ended 2013 with just north of 9 million broadband connections.

For all of 2013, Verizon migrated 330,000 homes to fiber, exceeding its target of 300,000 migrations within FiOS markets. By year-end, Verizon had fewer than 1 million consumers served by copper in FiOS markets, the company said.

The Verizon Wireless unit added 1.7 million retail net subscribers in the quarter, ending the year with 102.8 million retail connections, a 4.7% increase from the year-ago quarter. Verizon said its 4G LTE service is currently available to nearly 305 million people in more than 500 U.S. markets. Verizon said its LTE deployment, now considered “substantially completed,” covers more than 99% of the company’s current 3G network footprint.

On the financial front, Verizon Communications pulled in fourth quarter earnings of 66 cents per share  on revenues of $31.07 billion, edging out analyst expectations of 65 cents on revenues of $31.02 billion.