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Democracy & Technology Blog Verizon FiOS and Fort Wayne

In a recent speech in Fort Wayne, Verizon Senior Vice President Thomas J. Tauke provided this update on the company’s FiOS rollout:

In Fort Wayne alone, we’ve connected some 130,000 homes, multi-family households and small businesses to our fiber-to-the-home broadband service, called FiOS. Verizon is aggressively deploying FiOS across the country; we’ve already passed more than seven million homes, and we’re on schedule to pass 18 million premises by the end of 2010. This is a network, because of the fiber to the doorstep infrastructure, which has 100 mbps of capacity.

Tauke also pointed out that the network will soon be capable of delivering much faster speeds:

[O]ver the next five years broadband will be transforming itself, using new network technology called gigabit passive optical network, or G-PON. This will allow our fiber networks to go from the 100 megabit speeds we have today, to speeds up to 100-times faster — 10 gigabits.

Fort Wayne, according to Mayor Graham Richard, wants to be the “most wired and inspired” city of its size in the country and has been on a broadband crusade since 2001 (described by Richard here).
Looking back, Richard says he is pleased that Fort Wayne encouraged private sector investment, rather than partnering with hand-picked entities:

[W]hat I like about our situation is, we have not used substantial public dollars into private investments, private companies that are now vying to woo the public with high-quality services. We have already seen the run-rates and the costs be very competitive, the costs are coming down, run-rates are going up. You have two very, very substantial competitors, one using coaxial cable with fiber to the node. The other then using fiber all the way to the home.

Richards also believes broadband is an important tool for recruiting new businesses:

[W]e just did a study of existing businesses in Fort Wayne and of site selection specials, eight years ago no one said that a key reason for having a business located in Fort Wayne, Indiana was the availability of broadband. Today the number one issue is trained, skilled workforce available for the companies and number two is availability of high-speed broadband.

Hance Haney

Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project
Hance Haney served as Director and Senior Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project at the Discovery Institute, in Washington, D.C. Haney spent ten years as an aide to former Senator Bob Packwood (OR), and advised him in his capacity as chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee during the deliberations leading to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. He subsequently held various positions with the United States Telecom Association and Qwest Communications. He earned a B.A. in history from Willamette University and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon.