Consumers in Washington State Are Major Step Closer to Real Choice for TV Service

EVERETT, Wash. - Choice and competition for home television services are a major step closer for consumers in Washington, as Verizon announced plans Thursday (May 1) to establish a regional video hub office in Everett that will be a key component of the company's plan to deliver video programming over the nation's most advanced all-fiber-optic network.

"Verizon's all-fiber network represents the future of communications and entertainment," said David Valdez, Verizon senior vice president for the Northwest. "It will bring something to Washington consumers that they've never had before: more choice and competition, better value, and innovative TV services.

"With this video hub, Verizon has begun preparing its network to offer consumers in the region FiOS TV, a superior alternative to their current cable company," said Valdez.

Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said: "We commend Verizon for its investment in Everett. This is a positive step for our local economy."

Verizon is currently negotiating with various cities and counties in the state to obtain local video franchises, which are required to offer television service.

Once Verizon is authorized to offer FiOS TV, the new Everett-area video hub office (VHO) will receive national programming via fiber-optic connections from Verizon's two "super-head-end" facilities.

Inside the local office, Verizon employees will monitor the video and audio quality of the national channels received from the super head ends. The VHO also will insert local programming such as local TV and public-education and government channels, and advertising, and then send these signals - along with the national programming - to Verizon's local central switching offices and on to consumers' homes over the all-fiber network.

The new VHO is the first such facility in the state. At the end of 2007, Verizon had passed more than 137,000 Washington homes with the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network, which is capable of delivering broadband FiOS Internet service with speeds of up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps* and FiOS TV.  FiOS TV is designed to be a formidable competitor to cable and satellite, offering a broad collection of all-digital programming, high-definition channels, video-on-demand titles, an easy-to-use interactive programming guide and more.

* 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 67 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employed a diverse workforce of approximately 232,000 as of the end of the first quarter 2008 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.