Survey Says: Pennsylvania Consumers Overwhelmingly Want Choice and Competition for Cable TV

PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania consumers want choice, competition and an alternative to their cable company, according to the results of a recent survey by Public Opinion Strategies, a national political and public affairs research firm.

The Verizon-sponsored telephone poll of 500 registered voters in Pennsylvania showed that the overwhelming majority of those interviewed clearly supported video choice. The response was clear, nonpartisan and consistent across rural, urban and suburban communities.

"It's no surprise that consumers want an alternative to their local cable incumbents, when cable rates have risen 86 percent since 1994," said William B. Petersen, president of Verizon Pennsylvania. "The cable market is ripe for competition, which brings with it lower prices, more innovative choices and better service quality."

Highlights of the survey include:

  • Nearly nine of 10 Pennsylvanians polled agree that cable companies enjoy a monopoly when it comes to cable television service.
  • Fully 88 percent believe it should be easier for other companies to compete with cable companies in Pennsylvania.
  • Sixty-three percent say that they would support a proposal being discussed in the state Legislature to change the process for allowing companies to offer video services, like cable television, by requiring just one state-level license instead of multiple local licenses.
  • By a two-to-one margin, respondents say they would vote for an elected official who supports a proposal to allow video service companies to obtain only one statewide license in hopes of bringing more consumer choice and greater competition.
  • Seventy-five percent agree that, for the price they pay, their local telephone service is a good value for the money.
  • By comparison, 57 percent say they disagree with the notion that their cable service is a good value.

"The best solution for bringing cable competition to consumers is an updated video franchise process that recognizes changes in technology and quickly brings to Pennsylvania consumers the undeniable benefits of cable competition," said Petersen. "Verizon actively supports such efforts, which have led to increased consumer choice, competition and investment in other states that have passed legislation to streamline the franchising process."

The survey was based on telephone interviews conducted in March with 500 registered voters 18 years of age or older. The margin of error for the sample survey is plus or minus 4.38 percent. A summary of the survey is available at www.verizon.com/pa.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a 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 53 million customers nationwide. Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks. Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to 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