DADE CITY, Fla. - The Pasco County Commission today voted for consumer choice and competition in the cable-TV market by awarding a far-reaching franchise to Verizon for its FiOS TV product, to be delivered via the company's new, all-fiber network.
The franchise brings competition and consumer choice to over 100,000 households, covering roughly 230,000 residents in the unincorporated county. Pasco County joins Temple Terrace, Manatee County, Bradenton and Hillsborough County as the fifth municipality in Florida to grant a franchise to Verizon as the company continues its campaign to be permitted to deliver television services to customers in its service territory.
The Pasco County franchise, when combined with the four other franchises, creates a continuous stretch of more than 1.2 million customers in the heart of Verizon's service territory in west central Florida who can now enjoy stepped-up competition and more consumer choice for video services.
Initially, Verizon will offer FiOS TV by mid-summer to nearly 35,000 households in Wesley Chapel, Keystone, Land O Lakes and Lutz. The franchise does not apply to other communities in the county, including New Port Richey, Port Richey and Zephyrhills.
"This agreement represents a tremendous development for consumers in Pasco County and adds to the momentum we are experiencing with our franchise efforts in Florida," said Alan Ciamporcero, Verizon's Southeast region president. "Some of our earliest FiOS data customers were in Pasco County, so I'm sure they are ready to top off their fiber package with our outstanding FiOS TV service. Pasco's County Commission understands how the market has changed and that consumers want competition and choice for video and broadband services sooner rather than later.
"We look forward to further building out our fiber network and bringing its benefits to the county's residents who live in Verizon's service territory as quickly as possible," Ciamporcero added.
Verizon has already placed fiber in Wesley Chapel, Keystone, Land O Lakes and Lutz and will expand its fiber footprint in Pasco County this year to include areas just north of the Pinellas County line. As the fiber network is completed, residents will enjoy FiOS broadband products that deliver very fast data speeds ranging from up to 5 Mbps to up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second). Verizon, which launched FiOS TV last September in Keller, Texas, also offers the service in parts of California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Texas and Virginia.
Verizon's Pasco franchise will provide an unrivaled video service to county residents. Under the agreement, which covers 10 years with a five-year renewal option, Verizon will provide FiOS TV to portions of Pasco County where Verizon's fiber network is completely installed or currently under construction. Verizon will extend FiOS TV to additional geographic areas within the county as the network is extended, and will make cable service available to all residential areas in the county served by Verizon within five years of the effective date of the franchise.
In addition, the agreement contains provisions for three public, educational and governmental (PEG) access channels; a $50,000 commitment to the county, plus ongoing support for PEG channels on a per subscriber basis; cable service to over 90 public schools and to certain government buildings at no cost; and other important benefits including insurance, indemnification and enforcement protections.
Verizon's FiOS TV delivers hundreds of digital video and music channels, high-definition programming, video-on-demand content, a robust interactive programming guide and other customer-friendly features. Verizon is constructing its fiber-optic network in 16 states, or more than half the states where it offers landline communications services.
Customers can buy FiOS TV as a stand-alone service or packaged with voice and FiOS high-speed data services, which are already available in some areas. For information on Verizon's FiOS Internet Service and FiOS TV offerings, visit www.verizon.net/fios and www.verizon.net/fiostv
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 53 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving mass market and wholesale 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.