More TV Choice and Competition Near for Residents of Ashland, Plymouth, Mass.

ASHLAND and PLYMOUTH, Mass. - Residents of Ashland and Plymouth are a major step closer to having another choice for their cable television services, thanks to two newly approved agreements authorizing Verizon to offer its FiOS TV service via the most advanced all-digital, fiber-optic network straight to customers' homes.

The boards of selectmen in Ashland and Plymouth have granted cable franchises to Verizon, paving the way for video choice for thousands more Massachusetts households. Licenses were granted in Plymouth on Tuesday (June 17) and Ashland on Wednesday (June 18). 

Also this week, Verizon announced that it has made FiOS TV service available to residents of North Andover, where it received a cable TV franchise license on June 2.

This brings to 74 the total number of Massachusetts communities where Verizon's FiOS TV is or will soon be available.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring FiOS TV to residents in these communities," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president for Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  "Since the launch of FiOS TV in Massachusetts last year, we are continuing our efforts to meet the consumer demand for cable TV choice."

FiOS TV is the company's new fiber-optic television service, which offers a better-quality picture, more high-definition and on-demand programs, and more reliable service at competitive prices.

Verizon currently offers FiOS TV in 72 Massachusetts communities (see list below) as well as other locations in New York, New Jersey, California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.

"As a result of this new franchise, consumers in these communities can choose their cable provider as easily as they choose their phone company," said Cupelo. "Competition drives innovation, value and service quality, and it puts the consumer in control."

Verizon is currently in negotiations with several other communities in Massachusetts to obtain additional franchises.  For more information on the Verizon franchise process in the state, log on to www.verizon.com/ma.

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.

The Ashland and Plymouth franchise agreements contain provisions for the network's future growth; financial support and capacity for educational and government access channels; cable service to government buildings; and other important benefits to the town, including insurance, indemnification and enforcement protections.

"Verizon will compete aggressively for subscribers in these communities with our FiOS services, which are fueled by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network," Cupelo said. Verizon soon will begin its door-to-door sales campaign in Ashland, Plymouth, and North Andover, explaining to local consumers the many advantages of FiOS TV.

Verizon is the first company to offer a fiber-to-the premises (FTTP) network, connecting homes and businesses directly to fiber optics on a widespread scale.

FiOS TV offers a broad collection of all-digital programming, 30 high-definition channels, thousands of video on demand titles and more.  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. 

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 up to 50 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds up to 20 Mbps.* 

* NOTE: actual (throughput) speeds will vary.

[FiOS TV is available in Abington, Acton, Andover, Arlington, Bedford, Belmont, Boxborough, Boxford, Braintree, Burlington, Canton, Dedham, Dunstable, Framingham, Franklin, Georgetown, Hamilton, Hingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Ipswich, Lakeville, Lawrence, Lincoln, Littleton, Lexington, Lynn, Lynnfield, Malden, Marion, Marlborough, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Medfield, Medway, Melrose, Methuen, Middleborough, Nahant, Natick, Needham, Newton, Norfolk, North Andover, North Reading, Norwood, Reading, Rochester, Rockland, Rowley, Sherborn, Southborough, Stoneham, Sudbury, Swampscott, Taunton, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Walpole, Waltham, Wareham, Wayland, Wellesley, Wenham, West Newbury, Westborough, Westwood, Wilmington, Winchester and Woburn.]

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.