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Verizon now expects 70 million broadband passings by 2025

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Verizon now expects 70 million broadband passings by 2025

Verizon Communications Inc. now expects to reach 70 million total broadband passings by 2025, with the vast majority of those passings coming from the company's growing fixed wireless network.

Speaking during an investor conference, Verizon CFO Matthew Ellis said the company expects 50 million fixed wireless passings by the middle of the decade and an additional 20 million on Verizon's Fios fiber network.

"The ability to go from being just a regional player on the broadband, as we were a couple of years ago, to a nationwide [player], and how we market to our customer base in terms of offering those products together, is a significant part of the growth opportunity," Ellis said.

Verizon's Fios fiber network is currently available in eight states along the eastern coast of the U.S. and Washington, D.C. At the end of the third quarter, Verizon reported 6.5 million Fios internet connections and 6.9 million wireline broadband connections. The company reported 98,000 consumer Fios Internet net additions during the quarter. Total Fios service revenues were $2.7 billion, a increase of $121 million year over year.

During the conference, Ellis also mentioned C-band expansion plans for Verizon. Verizon and AT&T Inc. recently agreed to a one-month delay in their rollout of spectrum in the 3.7 GHz-3.98 GHz band, a portion of the C-band. The mid-band spectrum is important for 5G networks because high-band spectrum cannot travel long distances or penetrate certain surfaces and low-band spectrum has become crowded due to 4G wireless services.

Ellis is confident the delay will not be a major obstacle.

"The [Federal Aviation Administration] is highly confident this is just a 30-day delay. We obviously know that this spectrum can be used," Ellis said. "It's being used in places like Japan and Australia and parts of Europe without an impact on aviation operations. So we just need to go through a little bit of a process here to get everyone aligned."

Verizon shelled out $45.45 billion to win 3,511 licenses in the C-band auction auction earlier this year. AT&T was the second-biggest spender in the auction, paying $23.41 billion for 1,621 licenses.