In a rare move, Verizon is expanding coverage of its cable and internet service in Medford.
The company halted expansion of its FiOS high-speed Internet and cable service in 2010. When the decision came down, Verizon was in the process of installing fiber-optic cables in Medford, but stopped after covering about 70 percent of the city.
It took two years of convincing for Mayor Michael McGlynn to sway the company to offer service to the portion of the city already wired. The 70 percent that was wired has had the option of FiOS since February. Now, an agreement has been reached to expand the service to the rest of Medford, McGlynn said Monday.
"As of now, they are out wiring the rest of the community," McGlynn said, standing in front of a Verizon truck on Wolcott Street.
Medford is the only community in Massachusetts that Verizon has expanded into since it stopped making contractual agreements with communities in 2010, Regional President Donna Cupelo said Monday.
The company only agreed to expand in Medford because it was convinced it would be a profitable move, she said.
The 30 percent of Medford homes that will be wired in coming days are mainly in the West Medford neighborhood and a small pocket in North Medford, including McGlynn's home street, he said. Once an area is wired, service will be offered immediately, Cupelo said.
West Medford resident John Anderson said he wasn't sure whether he would switch from Comcast -- the city's other contracted cable provider -- to FiOS, but he was happy to have the choice.
"I've been seeing the FiOS ads for years," he said. "I look forward to the competition."
McGlynn and Cupelo signed a contract Monday that guarantees Verizon FiOS will be offered in Medford through 2025. Comcast's contract with the city will have to be renegotiated in 2015, he said.
"The cable issues continue on and on," he said.