Massachusetts Bill Will Speed Cable TV Competition

BOSTON - State Sen. Steven Panagiotakos, D-Lowell, and state Rep. James Vallee, D-Franklin, Wednesday (Jan. 10) filed legislation that would streamline the cable-TV franchising process in Massachusetts. The following statement should be attributed to Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president for Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

"The legislation filed today has consumer benefit written all over it.  It will meet the demands of Massachusetts consumers who have been waiting far too long to realize the benefits of cable TV choice and competition.  Senator Panagiotakos and Representative Vallee are standing up for consumers who are tired of skyrocketing cable bills and want greater choice in service providers and programming. This bill will enable us to provide more Massachusetts consumers with expanded cable TV choices and will help grow the state's economy by spurring innovation, providing incentives for investment and jobs in Massachusetts."

Additional Background

Verizon Communications is building an all-fiber-optic network to offer phone, Internet and video services.  Verizon began seeking permission to offer its FiOS TV service in Massachusetts two years ago and has so far been granted TV franchises in only 38 of the 351 Bay State communities. The company is currently negotiating with some 30 more communities for cable TV franchises.

The company also offers FiOS TV in California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.

Verizon research indicates 87 percent of Massachusetts residents favor more competition and choice for video services.  Independent studies have shown that competition in the video market brings enormous benefits to consumers in the form of reduced prices, better packages and improved service.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a New York-based 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 nearly 57 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.