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Boston Globe
By Jon Chesto Globe Staff  April 15, 2016

Verizon avoided Boston for years as it rolled out its fiber-optic broadband service to towns around the area, and to other big East Coast cities such as New York and Philadelphia. Now, Boston has seemingly gone overnight from pariah to favored child for the telecom giant, with plans unveiled this week to bring more than $300 million in fiber-optic investment to the city over six years.

For the first time, much of the city could finally get a cable TV competitor to Comcast, a big victory for Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

The transformation didn’t take place as suddenly as it might have seemed. In fact, a number of pieces fell into place during the course of three years to make this Boston investment a reality. (Verizon execs didn’t have much time to celebrate, though, given the massive workers’ strike that engulfed the company on Wednesday.)

So what happened? Here are some answers, according to Verizon and city officials.

1. A more receptive audience in City Hall. Former mayor Thomas M. Menino warred with Verizon over property tax issues, and complained publicly when the company skipped Boston for the suburbs with its FiOS TV service. So a changeover at City Hall helped set the stage for Verizon’s arrival. The shift started with Paul Trane, a lead negotiator for Verizon who works at the law firm of Kerbey Harrington Pinkard LLP. Trane was tapped by the Walsh campaign to advise on telecom and tech matters, when Walsh was running for mayor in 2013. Walsh hosted Verizon executives at the Parkman House within weeks of taking over as mayor in January 2014, and made his pitch for Verizon TV service. The two sides labored for months before Verizon decided it couldn’t make the profit it wanted. But the company remained open to returning to the table.

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The government affairs practice of Government Insight Group (GIG) was formed in 2005 when Paul Trane brought together personnel with over 30 years of experience to form what one publication called a “one stop shopping for lobbying and government affairs.”



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Telecommunications Insight Group (TIG), a telecommunications consulting firm, was founded in Massachusetts in 1997. TIG's success is based upon a simple formula: Ascertain the facts. Provide consulting advice. Implement the advice.