Verizon strikes $1.05bn fibre deal with Corning

19 April 2017 | James Pearce

Verizon has struck a $1.05 billion deal with Corning to buy up to 20 million kilometres of fibre cable and associated hardware per year from 2018 to 2020.

The US carrier said it will use the fibre to boost critical coverage and capacity for its nationwide broadband network, as it reinvents its network architecture to support 4G, and in preparation for 5G.

The three year deal includes a minimum purchase commitment of $1.05 billion, with the cable also serving Verizon’s plans to deliver high-speed broadband to homes and businesses across the US.

Roger Gurnani, Verizon’s chief information and technology architect, said: “Corning’s unique combination of capabilities delivers solutions that provide us with performance and cost advantages as we continue to expand our network coverage and capacity.”

Part of this fibre deployment comes in the form of One Fiber, which Verizon launched in Boston last year. The carrier has already committed to a $300 million investment in fibre across the city over the next six years.

Last month, Verizon hired former Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg to oversee its fibre network business as part of a wider restructure of the business.  It also recently closed the $1.8 billion acquisition of XO Communications, giving Verizon metro fibre rings in 45 of the top US metro markets.

Viju Menon, Verizon’s chief supply chain officer, said: “Our plans identified a shortfall in fibre supply, and Verizon has been working with business teams to forecast demand and fill supply gaps with existing suppliers. Securing the required volume of optical fibre and hardware solutions with Corning will ensure we meet our planned rollout schedules.”

It is a major deal for supplier Corning, which has pledged to invest $250 million in its optical fibre, cable and solutions manufacturing division. The expansions are aimed at helping to meet growing carrier demand for fibre, and are due to go live later this year, Corning said.

Clark Kinlin, executive vice president, Corning Incorporated, said: “We are pleased that Verizon recognizes the value of Corning’s innovative solutions in deploying next-generation converged optical infrastructure, such as One Fiber, more quickly and cost effectively. Verizon’s purchase commitment supports necessary capacity investments across our manufacturing footprint.”