Reading, Mass. Board of Selectmen Grants Verizon Authority to Offer FiOS TV to More Than 23,000 Potential Viewers

READING, Mass. - The long wait will soon be over for Reading residents eager for cable-TV competition, thanks to a unanimous Board of Selectmen vote Wednesday night (Jan. 25) authorizing Verizon to offer its fiber-optic-powered FiOS TV in the town.

With its more than 23,000 potential viewers, Reading is the second Massachusetts municipality to grant Verizon a cable franchise. The company also offers FiOS TV in Woburn, Mass., as well as other locations in New York, Texas, Florida and Virginia.

Verizon launched FiOS TV Sept. 22, 2005, in Keller, Texas, unveiling a broad collection of all-digital programming with more than 330 total channels and more on the way. Availability plans for FiOS TV in Reading will be announced soon.

"We applaud the selectmen and the town manager for moving Reading to the forefront of communities nationwide where consumers will be able to choose their cable provider as easily as they choose their phone company," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president for Massachusetts and Rhode Island. "Competition drives innovation, value and service quality, and it puts the consumer in control.

"Verizon will compete aggressively for subscribers in Reading with our FiOS services, which are fueled by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network."

Under the 15-year agreement, which became effective January 25, Verizon will begin to provide FiOS TV to potential subscribers. In addition, the agreement contains 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.

FiOS TV is designed to be a formidable competitor to cable and satellite. 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.*

NOTE: actual (throughput) speeds will vary.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.