What Happened to the Verizon NY Fiber Annual Budgets from 2007-2023.
In our previous article, “Dark Fiber in America? What happened to the 48 million kilometers that was installed but not in use as of 2007?”, we laid out, state by state, the fiber optic networks that had been put into America’s state telecom utilities, as documented by the FCC. At the end of 2007,
§ America’s state telecom utilities had over 73.4 million KM of fiber optic wires that had been laid throughout America,
§ A whopping 48 million KM, 66%, was “DARK”, meaning it was installed but not in use. (1 Kilometer is 62% of 1 mile.)
Some have questioned the logic of quoting data that is 15 years old as relevant–what is most relevant is that there has been a rewriting of history and what we call “institutional amnesia”.
Well, first, there is money–billions of dollars on the table. Billions of dollars in installed but unused fiber? Billions of dollars of utility construction budgets that were diverted to wireless? Ratepayers have been and continue to be overcharged billions for fiber networks they never received?
In an accompanying post (part of an upcoming article) we highlight the specific construction expenditures of a collection of state telecommunications public utilities, that are controlled by the 3 holding companies, AT&T, Verizon and CenturyLink (Lumen) from 2007, the FCC’s last published data.
Nationwide, the FCC report showed approximately $19 billion had been spent in 2007 on construction expenses (known as Plant Specific), (based on an average of 2006 and 2007)
The relevance is simple — All of these state telecommunications public utilities have an annual construction budget, and no utility has stopped or dramatically cut this money. Moreover, all of these companies are using the same Uniform System of Accounts, so the range of what one utility will pay for this expense item, are very similar, because they are based on the same formulas to calculate how expenses are allocated.
Our Model: Actual Data
Verizon NY’s annual reports gives us a continuous record since 2007. and there has been continuous Capital Expenditure (Capex) budgets for the upgrade of the telecom networks to fiber optics for decades.
The chart below details one telecommunications public utility’s construction budget from 2008 through 2022, This information comes directly from the Verizon NY published annual reports, the last being published in May 26, 2023.
===From 2008-2022, the average capex expense was over $1.24 billion of annual network construction expenses.
===Over this 15 year period, and using the actual data from the financial reports, this comes to over $18.6 billion for construction in just Verizon NY.
==We included the average as a line, against the actual construction expenditures and the amount rarely varied over this time-frame.