The Stage Is Set for Video Choice and Competition in California

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - The California Public Utilities Commission Thursday (March 1) unanimously approved rules for the state's new video-franchising process. The new rules, mandated by the California Digital Infrastructure and Cable Competition Act of 2006, streamline the video-franchise process and open the cable TV market to new competitors.

Verizon is building the nation's most advanced digital all-fiber-optic network in many areas of Southern California. The network delivers a formidable alternative to cable and satellite, offering industry-leading FiOS TV, ultra-fast FiOS Internet Service and crystal-clear, reliable FiOS phone service. Verizon is the first company to provide such a communications network, connecting homes and small businesses directly to fiber optics on a widespread scale. Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes and businesses.

Verizon intends to file its first state-issued video franchise application under California's new, pro-consumer video franchise law as soon as possible. When the franchise is approved, Verizon will offer FiOS television service to tens of thousands of additional Southern California households beyond the thousands who can subscribe today.

The following statement should be attributed to Verizon West Region President Tim McCallion:

"Today's landmark ruling throws open the door to widespread television competition in California and creates exciting new choices for consumers throughout the state.

"The California Public Utilities Commission, under the leadership of Commissioner Rachelle Chong, stayed faithful to the state legislature's vision of expanded broadband access and more consumer choice for video service.

"Verizon continues to aggressively deploy its digital all-fiber network in Southern California, and our new video service, FiOS TV, is already available to hundreds of thousands of Verizon customers throughout the region.

"We look forward to submitting our state-issued video franchise application to the commission soon. When our application is approved, tens of thousands more California households will be able to enjoy FiOS TV service and reap the benefits of video choice and competition."

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 59 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.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 242,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.