Verizon Communications is within shouting distance of Mediacom Communications and Suddenlink Communications as one of the nation's biggest video providers — and stands to soon surpass them — as the telecommunications giant continues to add FiOS TV customers by the thousands.
In the first quarter, Verizon reeled in 263,000 net new FiOS TV customers and 262,000 net new FiOS Internet customers, for a total of 1.2 million FiOS TV customers and 1.8 million FiOS Internet customers.
Verizon previously reported passing the 1 million subscriber mark in January. It has added more than 850,000 FiOS TV customers over the past 12 months, making Verizon the ninth-largest cable operator, just behind Mediacom and Suddenlink, both of which have about 1.3 million video subscribers. Factoring in DirecTV and Dish Network, FiOS ranks No. 11 among U.S. video distributors.
FiOS TV was available for sale to 6.5 million households by the end of the quarter, with penetration for the service an average of 18.7% across all markets, compared with 16.0% at the end of 2007.
Telecom industry analyst Jeff Kagan noted that Verizon's “soft spot” remains the core voice service as it faces strong competition from cable. “There is quite a bit of competitive fighting to take place over the next several years,” he said in a research note. “However, [FiOS] performance shows strong growth.”
Also last week, Verizon said it will raise prices on certain FiOS services sometime this quarter — its third such increase within the last 18 months — but the telco did not provide specifics.