Verizon Communications has announced a three-year minimum purchase agreement with Corning to provide fiber optic cable and associated hardware for Verizon to ensure critical coverage and capacity for its nationwide wireless broadband network. According to the agreement, Verizon will purchase up to 20 million kilometers (12.4 million miles) of optical fiber each year from 2018 through 2020, with a minimum purchase commitment of $1.05 billion through Corning.
Verizon has been reinventing its network architecture around a next-generation fiber platform that will support all of the company's businesses. The new architecture is designed to improve Verizon's 4G LTE coverage, speed the deployment of 5G, and deliver high-speed broadband to homes and businesses of all sizes. In an initial deployment, it recently launched One Fiber in Boston in 2016 and plans to invest $300 million over six years to deploy it throughout the city.
In course for the upgraded deployment of services, the company recently identified a shortfall in fiber supply, and thus has been working with business teams to forecast demand and fill supply gaps with existing suppliers. Securing the required volume of optical fiber and hardware solutions with Corning will ensure they meet their planned rollout schedules.
Over the past several months, Corning too has announced plans to expand capacity and to invest more than $250 million in its optical fiber, cable and solutions manufacturing facilities to help meet the demand of its global carrier and enterprise customers. Corning expects these capacity expansions to begin to come online in 2017 and become fully operational in 2018.