Verizon said today that it had committed an additional $149 million in local capital spending in Florida to meet the increasing demand from a growing customer base in the Sunshine State.
More than 250,00 Verizon customers have moved to the state since January of 2020, leading to a corresponding spike in traffic, the company said. The biggest increase in “busy hour” traffic has been in Orlando, where traffic grew 408% since January of 2020.
Other notable increases were in Miami, 364%; Glades, 271%; Collier, 257%; Fort Myers, 173%; West Palm Beach, 165%; and Tampa, 135%.
To support this growth, Verizon invested over $1 billion in the state in 2020 and 2021, using the funds to expand 4G LTE capacity, introduce and grow Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband service, prepare for Super Bowls in Tampa and Miami, and to support first responders and the community in natural disaster recovery efforts. The company also invested to support traffic during Formula One racing in Miami.
Future capital investment plans include funds for building more than 3,500 new network solutions including new macro towers, small cell sites and repeaters to increase 4G LTE capacity and coverage, expand 5G Ultra Wideband and to enter new markets throughout the state.
“We are used to seeing seasonal increases in population in Florida and have always accommodated those temporary fluctuations with temporary network assets to add capacity at various times of the year,” said Kyle Malady, Verizon executive vice president and president of global networks and technology, in a prepared statement about the Verizon capital spending in Florida. “With the evolution of the distributed workforce resulting from the pandemic, we’re seeing more people permanently change locations to Florida and other places. Experiencing the impact of this influx, we revised our forecasting models and are pouring additional capital into the state to grow our coverage and capacity to meet the increased demands.”