City of Bowie Consumers One Step Closer to Real Choice for Cable TV

BOWIE, Md. - Bowie's 55,000 residents are a major step closer to having more choice for their cable television services, thanks to the Bowie City Council's vote last night (April 17) authorizing Verizon to offer its fiber-optic-powered FiOS TV here.

The city of Bowie is the second Maryland jurisdiction to award Verizon a cable franchise, following Howard County, which granted the company a franchise in January. They join a growing list of the region's communities that have granted franchises to Verizon, including Fairfax County, the cities of Falls Church and Fairfax, the town of Herndon and the Marine Corps Base at Quantico.

Verizon, which launched FiOS TV last September in Keller, Texas, currently offers the service in parts of California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Texas and Virginia. The company will announce its FiOS TV plans for Bowie later this year.

"We applaud Bowie officials for their foresight in enabling local citizens to choose their video provider as easily as they now choose their phone company," said William R. Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland. "Competition drives innovation, value and service quality, and we will compete aggressively for business in Bowie with our FiOS services, which are fueled by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network.

"We hope to bring these benefits to more Maryland consumers by reaching similar agreements with other municipalities."

Under the 15-year agreement, Verizon will be able to offer FiOS TV service to residents of the city. In addition, the agreement requires Verizon to pay the community franchise fees based on the company's gross revenues on cable services

FiOS TV is designed to be a formidable competitor to cable and satellite, offering a broad collection of all-digital programming with more than 350 total channels, nearly two-dozen high-definition channels, video on demand 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. Verizon's network design includes backup facilities not common to traditional cable systems, such as duplicate "head ends" where the TV service receives national programming.

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.* FiOS Internet Service currently is available to many consumers and small businesses in Bowie, as well as parts of Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Howard and Prince George's counties.

* NOTE: 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.