Hatfield Borough First Community in Montgomery County Consortium to Grant Verizon Cable Franchise; Choice, Competition Nearer for Residents

HATFIELD, Pa. - Residents of the Montgomery County borough of Hatfield are a major step closer to having a real choice for their cable television services, thanks to the borough council's vote last night (June 28) authorizing Verizon to offer its fiber-optic powered FiOS TV here.

Hatfield Borough is the first member of a consortium of some 30 Montgomery County communities to approve a cable franchise with Verizon. Earlier yesterday, the consortium's steering committee announced that it reached an agreement with Verizon on the terms of a cable franchise and recommended that each of its member communities grant Verizon a cable franchise. Nearly 225,000 potential viewers reside in the Montgomery County municipalities represented by the consortium.

Hatfield Borough joins a growing list of southeastern Pennsylvania communities that have said yes to cable competition. Ten other commonwealth municipalities have awarded cable franchises to Verizon, including four in Montgomery County: the boroughs of Lansdale and Schwenksville and the townships of Worcester and Perkiomen. The other franchises are in Bucks, Chester and Delaware counties.

Verizon will announce availability plans for FiOS TV in these communities later this year.

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 make FiOS TV available in Pennsylvania markets where it has negotiated franchise agreements with local authorities.

"We applaud officials of Hatfield Borough and the Montgomery County consortium's steering committee for acting on behalf of their constituents to bring them long-overdue, much-needed choice and competition for cable TV," said William B. Petersen, president of Verizon Pennsylvania. "Competition drives innovation, value and service quality, and Verizon will compete aggressively for business in Montgomery County with our FiOS TV service, which is fueled by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network.

"We hope to bring these benefits to more Pennsylvanians by reaching similar agreements with other communities."

Under the agreement, Verizon will be able to offer FiOS TV service to residents of Hatfield Borough. 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, 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 Montgomery County, as well as parts of Bucks, Chester and Delaware counties.

* NOTE: actual (throughput) speeds will vary.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a 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 53 million customers nationwide. Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks. Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.