FALLS CHURCH, Va. - Verizon today said it will extend its fiber-optic network to a total of 25 of its local service areas in Virginia by the end of 2006, making more than 300,000 households capable of receiving the company's FiOS TV service. The commitment follows the adoption of cable choice legislation signed into law by Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on March 10. Verizon said it will provide more details about the build out in the coming months.
Verizon also announced additional FiOS TV rollouts to 73,000 Fairfax County households and has begun taking orders for the service. These households are located in portions of Annandale, Falls Church, Springfield, Burke, Newington, McLean, Tyson's Corner, Oakton and Wolf Trap.
Verizon currently has authority to offer its competitive FiOS TV service in Fairfax County, the cities of Falls Church and Fairfax and the town of Herndon. The company began offering the service in Herndon and Reston last November.
"This legislation will enable Virginians to get more competition and choice for their cable services," said Robert W. Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia. The new law, which becomes effective July 1, gives Verizon a more certain environment in which to make investment decisions about where and when to build advanced networks that can deliver video services. It provides a streamlined process for Verizon and other telecommunications companies that want to offer consumers an alternative to cable incumbents' service.
Verizon also is negotiating with additional northern Virginia communities including Loudoun, Arlington and Prince William counties, and the Town of Leesburg. Franchise approvals from these localities would bring competition and choice to tens of thousands more homes where Verizon is building its fiber-to-the premises (FTTP) network.
Verizon is the only major telecom company in the United States deploying fiber directly into homes on a mass scale. Verizon's all-fiber network - over which the company is delivering voice, high-speed FiOS Internet Service and FiOS TV - is currently under construction in more than half the states where the company offers landline communications services.
Since Verizon began building its fiber network in Virginia, the company has placed more than 17.3 million feet of fiber optics and created more than 600 new full-time positions to build and support the network and FiOS services in the state.
The network brings the power and capacity of fiber optics directly into people's homes and has industry-leading quality and reliability. Fiber delivers amazingly sharp pictures and sound, and has the capacity to transmit a wide array of high-definition programming that is so clear and intense it seems to leap from the TV screen.
The network also features blazing fast Internet access, with downstream (download) speeds of up to 5, 15 and 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and upstream (upload) speeds of up to 5 Mbps*, as well as high-quality voice services.
Verizon has obtained video franchises covering more than 1.3 million households in California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.
Verizon currently offers FiOS TV in a number of communities in Maryland, California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York and Texas, with more to follow.
FiOS TV subscribers can choose from three simple-to-understand service offerings, each with built-in choice and value. They can then choose from packages and premium channels with programming that meets their special interests. Verizon offers three set-top boxes: standard definition for $3.95 per month; high definition, which includes HD channels, for $9.95 per month; and a dual-tuner, HD-capable digital video recorder for $12.95 per month.
The services include:
- Basic, with access to 15-35 local broadcast weather and community channels for $12.95 per month. The service is digital with a set-top box, which also provides access to On Demand programming. Basic is also available as an analog service that does not require a set-top box for viewing.
- Expanded Basic, Verizon's lead offer, delivers more than 180 video and music channels for $34.95 a month with Verizon FiOS Internet Service or a qualifying voice plan. This tier includes access to On Demand content and requires a set-top box. High-definition channels are included in this tier at no extra charge, and customers must have an HD set-top box and an HD-ready TV to view them.
- La Conexión, an alternative to Expanded Basic service designed for bilingual consumers who enjoy TV programs in English and Spanish, for $27.95 per month with Verizon FiOS Internet Service or a qualifying voice plan. La Conexión is also available as a stand-alone service for $32.95 per month. The package includes nearly 140 channels with English and Spanish-language programming and access to On Demand programming. This service requires a set-top box. HD channels are included in this tier at no extra charge, and customers must have an HD set-top box and an HD-ready TV to view them.
The value of FiOS TV extends to the installation and customer support. Specially trained Verizon technicians will install the service and acquaint subscribers with FiOS TV features and services. Verizon is waiving the installation fee for up to three existing TV outlets, and there is no charge to install a needed optical network terminal at the subscriber's home. Charges for other installation services, such as additional outlets, may apply. Verizon provides 24x7 technical assistance by phone from its Fiber Solutions Centers in Hampton, Va., and other cities.
* Actual (throughput) speeds will vary.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.