City of Woburn, Mass. Awards Video Franchise to Verizon, Providing More Choice and Benefits to Consumers

WOBURN, Mass. - The city of Woburn has become the first community in Massachusetts to award a video franchise to Verizon, providing consumers with more choice for video entertainment. Mayor John C. Curran approved the franchise. As a result, Verizon will offer its technologically advanced FiOS TV product via the company's new, fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network.

Residents in this city of 37,000 will soon be in the unusual situation of having choices from three landline providers of video services. Only 4 percent of Americans nationwide have even two cable-TV providers.

"This is great news for the residents of Woburn, who will have even more choice for their video entertainment," said Donna Cupelo, region president for Verizon in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. "We commend Mayor Curran and the city's Cable Advisory Committee for their dedication and hard work throughout this process. They recognize and support the technological advantage and competitive benefits, as well as the distinctive edge in economic development and quality of life that fiber will bring to Woburn."

Myles Calvey, business manager for Local 2222 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), said, "This new technology is not only good for consumers, it's also good for our membership. Verizon is adding in Massachusetts alone 200 new union jobs as the result of this multi-year investment to bring fiber directly to homes and businesses."

Mayor Curran approved the franchise following a favorable recommendation Sept. 28 by the advisory committee.

Curran said, "We are very excited to keep Woburn on the cutting edge for consumer choice in video services and for new technology that makes our city an even more attractive place to live and do business. At the same time, this is a fair and equitable contract. It treats all video providers equally; protects consumer rights; and ensures continued financial support for our public, educational and governmental access channels."

The mayor's decision gives Verizon the authority to offer FiOS TV to the 15,000 households in Woburn. Many Verizon customers here are already enjoying FiOS Internet Service, which delivers blazing-fast download speeds ranging from up to 5 Mbps to up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second).*

Verizon launched FiOS TV Sept. 22 in Keller, Texas, unveiling a broad collection of all-digital programming with more than 330 total channels and more on the way. Availability plans for FiOS TV in Woburn will be announced soon.

In addition to Texas and Massachusetts, Verizon has also obtained video franchises in California, Florida and Virginia.

Under the franchise agreement for Woburn, which covers 15 years, Verizon will provide service to the entire city. In addition, the agreement contains provisions for financial support and capacity for public and governmental access channels and other important provisions.

FiOS TV is a state-of-the-art video service designed to compete with cable and satellite and win. 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.

Verizon currently is constructing FTTP networks in more than half the states where it offers landline communications services, including 40 communities in Massachusetts.

FiOS TV will deliver a wide range of programming designed to meet the entertainment and information needs of all customers. They will be able to buy FiOS TV as a stand-alone service or packaged with voice and FiOS Internet Service. Verizon has announced video content agreements with major and independent network groups, including The Walt Disney Company, NBC Universal Cable, Starz Entertainment Group, Showtime Networks, Turner Broadcasting System, A&E Television Networks, Discovery Networks, Si TV and NFL Network.

* NOTE: Actual (throughput) speeds will vary.

With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 214,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.