Annapolis Approves Verizon's Latest FiOS TV Franchise in Maryland

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The City Council paved the way for video choice for this city's residents, with a unanimous vote Monday night (Dec. 11) to grant a cable franchise to Verizon.

Verizon will offer the city's 18,000 households its FiOS TV product, to be delivered over the nation's largest digital, all-fiber network.  The company will begin offering FiOS TV in parts of the city early in 2007.

"As a result of this new franchise, Annapolis consumers now will be able to choose their cable provider as easily as they choose their phone company," said William R. Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland. "Competition drives innovation, value and service quality, and it puts the consumer in control."

Annapolis joins the cities of Laurel and Bowie, and Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties, in endorsing consumer choice and competition, bringing to more than 900,000 the number of Maryland households in areas where Verizon has local franchises to offer television service.

Independent studies have shown that competition in the video market brings enormous benefits to consumers in the form of reduced prices, better packages and improved service.

The Annapolis franchise agreement contains provisions for the network's future growth; financial support and capacity for educational and government access channels; and other important benefits to the town.   As part of the franchise agreement, Verizon will serve the entire city within three years.

"Verizon will compete aggressively for subscribers in Annapolis with our FiOS services, which are fueled by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network," Roberts said.

FiOS TV offers a broad collection of all-digital programming, two dozen high-definition channels, video on demand and more.  It is delivered over Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, which has industry-leading quality and reliability.  Only Verizon's FTTP network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes and businesses.

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. 

In addition to FiOS TV, Verizon's fiber network also allows the company to offer consumers and businesses high-speed FiOS Internet Service at download speeds of up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds up to 5 Mbps.*

* NOTE: actual (throughput) speeds will vary.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a New York-based Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 57 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.