PC Mag is reporting that Verizon is looking at a couple different ways to spread the good word of FiOS beyond the projected 18 million homes it'll reach in 2010, maybe by using less, um, fiber after that, according to tech chief Mark Wegleitner. Update: Verizon's Policy blog has a post that makes it clear they're still all about fiber after 2010, though they'll be using a combo of ways to bring broadband to less dense areas, maybe even 4G LTE stuff.
Right now, Verizon's FiOS network is built fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP), which means it's fiber all the way to your door, a fact it mercilessly (and rightly) lords over cable and AT&T's U-Verse. U-Verse is built as fiber to the node, where it's fiber to a box you share with your neighbors and connect to via copper or coax. It's slower than FiOS. But, FTTP buildout is really, really expensive-Verizon's spent $20 billion already, way more than AT&T.
And spending even more to build fiber out to sparely populated areas doesn't make much economic sense, even if it is cheaper than expected. (As much as we all want our own personal fiber line.) So, they're leaking for a cheaper alternative, "another approach to FTTP," in Wegleitner's words. That's all well and good, as long as it's still fiber to my door. (Soon, please?) [PC Mag]