TV Choice and Competition Near for Residents of Taunton, Mass.

TAUNTON, Mass. - Residents of Taunton are a major step closer to having a real choice for their cable television services, thanks to a newly approved agreement authorizing Verizon to offer its FiOS TV service via the most advanced all-digital, fiber-optic network straight to customers' homes.

Taunton Mayor Charles Crowley has granted a cable franchise to Verizon, authorizing video choice for thousands of households here.

The mayor's authorization brings to 71 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 Taunton," 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."

Crowley said, "The signing of this agreement will mean that the citizens of Taunton will have a choice for their cable TV needs, and the competitive environment that will exist here in Taunton will ensure that our families will realize competitive prices as well. This is a significant advantage for Taunton consumers because competition often results in new features, improved service and competitive rates. The license also provides additional funding for our public, education and government cable-access channels, and ensures that all parts of the city will be served."

Crowley added: "The Verizon representatives have conducted themselves in a highly professional manner as we worked together to ensure that quality service will be provided to our citizens."

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

"As a result of this new franchise, consumers in Taunton will be able to 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 onto 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.

Verizon's license agreement with the city of Taunton is for a 10-year term.  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 city, including insurance, indemnification and enforcement protections.

"Verizon will compete aggressively for subscribers in Taunton 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 Taunton, explaining the many advantages of FiOS TV to local consumers.

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, video on demand 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, North Reading, Norfolk, Norwood, Reading, Rochester, Rockland, Rowley, Sherborn, Southborough, Stoneham, Sudbury, Swampscott, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Tyngsborough, Wakefield, Walpole, Waltham, Wareham, Wayland, Wellesley, Wenham, West Newbury, Westborough, Westwood,  Wilmington, Winchester and Woburn, as well as other locations in New York, New Jersey, California, Delaware, Texas, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.]

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.