Verizon Fios stunted by economy

Verizon will be crimping back on plans to expand its high-speed Fios Internet service, even though it says it is still on track to meet its end-of-year subscription goals.

Many of those who don’t live on the East Coast have probably never even heard of Verizon’s Fios TV service, while people in cities like New York and Boston are constantly pummeled with advertising convincing them to switch from cable or satellite.

In those markets, Fios has been doing well. Verizon ended 2009 with nearly 3 million Fios TV subscribers, though in the last quarter its new subscription numbers showed signs of decline.

According to an Associated Press report, when Fios comes into a new neighborhood, the start-up costs are as much as $750 per home. The process involves taking Verizon’s existing landline phone lines and upgrading them to more robust fiber-optic lines.

Despite all that, Verizon still plans to meets its goal of 18 million connected households by the end of 2010. However, its plan to expand out to the West Coast and Midwest markets will be stifled while the company reorganizes some of its strategies.

The company’s CEO Ivan Seidenberg reportedly commented earlier this year that its business-to-business operations have been on the downfall due in part to the resources it used to market and expand Fios.

So for now, areas where Fios has already been deployed will continue to be Verizon’s focus and the company has no plans on scaling back the surrounding areas. But if you don’t have any neighbors who have Fios, you won’t be getting it any time soon.