Verizon executives moved to assuage concerns over the presence of potentially toxic lead-sheathed cable in its legacy copper network, but provided little detail beyond stating it would use a scientific-backed approach to assess the potential impact.
On its Q2 earnings call, EVP and CFO Tony Skiadas stated Verizon’s copper network is comprised of less than 540,000 miles of cable, roughly half of which is above ground.
He noted the company stopped using the lead-covered cables in the 1950s, but is reviewing records from acquisitions of XO Communications and MCI to determine the amount used in those networks.
Skiadas attempted to minimise the potential health impact of exposure to the lead-encased cables: “When not disturbed, the likelihood of exposure to lead” from the cables “is low”.
He noted the cables do not typically run into homes and Verizon is “working with a third-party expert to conduct our own testing” at sites highlighted in press reports.
Skiadas stated “it is far too soon to make any projection on what the potential financial impact might be to the company”.
Verizon booked post-paid net additions of 8,000 in Q2, comprising 144,000 additions from its business division and a loss of 136,000 consumers.
Skiadas stated about 70 per cent of the new post-paid customers selected a tariff launched in May.
It continued to bleed prepaid phone customers, with a loss of 304,000 compared with 229,000 in Q2 2022.
Wireless service revenue grew 3.8 per cent to $19.1 billion.
It added 384,000 fixed wireless access (FWA) subscribers, with 251,000 coming from its consumer division and 133,000 from its business sector, taking its total to 2.3 million.
CEO Hans Vestberg (pictured) stated further gains will be fuelled by a further tranche of C-Band spectrum being made available.
Net income fell 10.3 per cent to $4.8 billion on revenue of $32.6 billion, down 3.5 per cent.