By Curt Woodward and Jon Chesto
Verizon is finally ready to offer its high-speed fiber optic service to Boston — a victory for city officials who have long sought meaningful competition for high-speed Internet and TV service in a city dominated by Comcast Corp. Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the Verizon move Tuesday, a $300 million investment that will roll out in select neighborhoods beginning this summer but will take six years to cover the whole city. Boston has also agreed to speed up permitting for the infrastructure upgrade and to begin the process of licensing Verizon as a cable TV provider. “Today, 90 percent of Boston residents have only one option for broadband,” said Jascha Franklin-Hodge, Boston chief information officer. “The free market only works for consumers when companies compete for their business. And when this project is complete, the majority of Boston residents will have real choice for the very first time.” Verizon’s surprise decision follows years of attempts by Boston officials to persuade it to offer the broadband service here, including accusations from former mayor Thomas M. Menino that Verizon was dragging its feet because of an unrelated dispute with the city over a tax of its property worth millions of dollars. Boston and company officials said high-speed Internet is a necessity for the kinds of high-tech businesses Walsh’s administration has courted since taking office.