Baltimore County Residents to See More Choice, Competition as Verizon Obtains Cable Franchise

TOWSON, Md. - Residents of Baltimore County are a major step closer to having some long-awaited choice for their cable television services, thanks to a vote by the County Council Monday night (March 5) authorizing Verizon to offer its fiber-optic-powered FiOS TV. 

The cable franchise covers approximately 312,000 households in Baltimore County.  Verizon plans to begin offering FiOS TV by mid-year to parts of the Owings Mill, Cockeysville and Reisterstown areas.

Verizon is providing FiOS services on the nation's most advanced digital, all-fiber-optic network.  Only Verizon's FiOS network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes.

"This agreement represents great progress for Baltimore County consumers who are eager for a true competitive choice in video service providers," said William R. Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland.  "FiOS TV offers an innovative, reliable and competitive alternative to the incumbent cable provider - powered by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network.

"Maryland residents are saying 'yes' to FiOS TV and FiOS Internet services in rapidly growing numbers, and we're eager for Baltimore County consumers to join the FiOS family."

Baltimore County joins numerous other Maryland jurisdictions that have awarded franchises to Verizon, including Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties and more than 30 independent municipalities.  These franchises cover approximately 1.2 million households.

More than 291,000 households in 12 of these jurisdictions now can order FiOS TV, and that number is growing rapidly.

In addition to Maryland, Verizon currently offers FiOS TV in parts of nine other states: California, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. 

FiOS TV offers a broad collection of all-digital programming, 20 or more high-definition channels, 8,600 video-on-demand titles and more.  It is delivered over Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises network, which 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.  

In addition to FiOS TV, Verizon's fiber network also allows the company to offer consumers and businesses crystal-clear voice service and high-speed FiOS Internet Service at download speeds of up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds up to 5 Mbps.*   FiOS Internet Service currently is available to many consumers and small businesses in the Owings Mill area of Baltimore County.

* NOTE: actual (throughput) speeds will vary.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, 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 more than 59 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.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 242,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit  www.verizon.com.