Verizon adds 55,000 Fios subs in Q4, ends 2023 with 248K net adds

Verizon in the fourth quarter added 55,000 Fios Internet customers, marking a year-on-year decline of 4,000. The carrier’s total broadband base stands at 10.7 million, with fixed wireless access (FWA) customers making up the bulk of quarterly net additions.

From the 55,000 Fios net adds, most (53,000) came from the Consumer segment. Total broadband net additions were 413,000, compared to 416,000 in Q4 2022. Although Verizon doesn’t post metrics for its DSL customers, overall wireline net adds were 38,000, implying the company lost 17,000 DSL subscribers in the quarter.

As for FWA, Verizon posted 375,000 net additions, bringing its fixed wireless subscriber base to over 3 million.

CEO Hans Vestberg noted on the earnings call broadband net adds for full-year 2023 totaled more than 1.7 million, “with more than one and a half million from fixed wireless access.” Fios net additions for the year came to 248,000.

Verizon said its Q4 financial results reflected “a pre-tax loss from special items of approximately $7.8 billion,” which includes a $5.8 billion impairment charge in its Verizon Business wireline group.

The company last week stated Verizon Business has been experiencing “secular declines, as well as continuing competitive and macroeconomic pressure, in wireline revenue across its customer groups.”

Asked by an analyst how Verizon would be impacted by a shutdown of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), CFO Tony Skiadas said if the funding goes away, “we have plans to address it and we’ll see what happens there.”

He added the “majority” of Verizon’s ACP recipients are prepaid customers. Roughly 1.2 million prepaid subscribers use the subsidy, “and that’s less than 10% of our rebate base.”

“On the postpaid side we have minimal exposure to ACP, both Fios and postpaid wireless,” Skiadas said. “And the margin exposure from ACP is very small.”

Q4 financials

Consolidated operating revenue in the quarter was flat year-on-year at $35.1 billion. For full-year 2023, total operating revenue of $134 billion declined 2.1% from 2022.

Consumer Fios revenue of $2.9 billion increased 1% from Q4 2022, but for the full year was relatively flat at $11.6 billion. Business Fios revenue for the quarter increased 2.6% to $312 million, while jumping 2.8% to $1.2 million for full-year 2023.