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Verizon may strip out non-performing wireline customers

telephone poles

via Flickr © timsackton (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Verizon CEO and Chairman Lowell McAdam has been hint-dropping on the company’s approach to its wireline assets. In a recent address to the  Citi 2015 Global Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference, McAdam seemed to hint that Verizon was mulling the disposal of some of its local wireline networks to companies that would make them a more a more relevant fit.

It’s something it’s done in the past with highly rural networks (where presumably Verizon finds it harder to make profits) but this time around Verizon seems focussed on disposing submarkets rather than larger state-sized areas. That would seem to indicate that it will cherry-pick the more affluent demographic areas to keep while selling off the less attractive areas, something which rings alarm bells for people in the US who worry about a growing digital divide. Selling off chunks of antiquated wireline to a tier two might not necessarily bring with it a greater probability that the networks will eventually be upgraded.

McAdam noted that his  company’s other strategy is to move “lower speed DSL and voice customers onto 4G LTE wireless,” another trend viewed with alarm by many.  

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