Lawrence Consumers One Step Closer to Having a Choice for Cable TV

LAWRENCE, Mass. - Lawrence consumers are one step closer to having a choice for cable TV now that city officials and Verizon have begun the process to grant the company a video franchise. After negotiations are completed, more than 72,000 potential viewers will be able to choose Verizon's FiOS TV as an alternative to their current cable provider.

Verizon has invested millions of dollars transforming Lawrence's traditional telephone network into an advanced fiber-optic system that connects directly to homes and businesses and provides video, super-fast Internet access and crystal-clear voice connections.

"I'm looking forward to beginning negotiations for a video license with Verizon," said Mayor Michael Sullivan. "We are eager to bring our citizens the benefits of cable competition -- improved service, more technology enhancements and lower prices. We are excited that Verizon is investing in our community."

FiOS TV is designed to be a formidable competitor to cable and satellite, offering a broad collection of all-digital diverse programming, nearly two dozen high-definition channels, video on demand and more.

Verizon offers FiOS TV in Burlington, Lynnfield, North Reading, Reading, Winchester and Woburn, as well as other locations in New York, California, Texas, Florida, Maryland and Virginia. Massachusetts franchises have also been approved in the towns of Hamilton, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Wakefield and Wenham. In addition to Lawrence, Verizon is currently in discussions with more than 50 Massachusetts communities to obtain licenses.

"This is an important step in the regulatory process for creating cable competition. Verizon hopes to work cooperatively with Lawrence to complete the process by early fall," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president for Massachusetts and Rhode Island. "The mayor should be congratulated for his leadership in fostering the spirit of competition in Lawrence. We are looking forward to the day we are permitted to offer his constituents a superior competitive choice for cable TV and access to the most advanced network in the country."

FiOS TV 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.

For more information on the Verizon franchise process in the state, log onto www.verizon.com/ma.

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.