PHILADELPHIA - The future of television is arriving for consumers in dozens of communities in the greater Philadelphia area as Verizon introduces FiOS TV over its revolutionary fiber-optic network, the first such rollout in the tri-state area.
At a news conference today to announce the rollout, the company also announced the availability of Comcast SportsNet-Philadelphia for FiOS TV subscribers and described several new features that will launch in all FiOS TV markets in 2007.
Verizon delivers FiOS TV over the nation's largest digital, all-fiber network. Only Verizon's FiOS network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes.
"This is great news for consumers in the tri-state area who have waited a long time for a better choice in TV service," said William B. Petersen, president of Verizon Pennsylvania. "FiOS TV will bring something to consumers they've never had before: incredible picture and sound clarity and innovative new services - all from a brand they know and trust. Customers who liked what FiOS has done for their Internet connection will love what it does for their TV."
In southeastern Pennsylvania, Verizon FiOS TV is available now to 80,000 households in parts of 35 communities in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. The company expects that number to increase to 100,000 households by the end of the year.
In Delaware, Verizon plans to offer FiOS TV to 13,000 households in the southern New Castle County area by the end of the year.
In New Jersey, under the state's new streamlined video franchise law, Verizon has announced plans to offer FiOS TV over its all-fiber network in 316 communities in the next few years. With state approval of Verizon's plan expected in mid-December, the company expects to have FiOS TV available in dozens of communities in New Jersey by the end of this year -- including South Jersey.
(NOTE: See attached list of Pennsylvania communities where FiOS TV is now available.)
Consumers can check online at www.verizon.com/pa/tv to see if FiOS TV is already available in their area, or to request that Verizon contact them when FiOS TV is available. Consumers also can call their local Verizon sales office or 1-877-4-FIOS-TV (1-877-434-6788).
Verizon's FiOS TV Premier package delivers 200 all-digital channels for $42.99 per month. The package includes more than 20 high-definition (HD) channels in the Philadelphia market and access to approximately 4,000 on-demand titles, 60 percent of which are free. Sports fans subscribing to FiOS TV Premier in the Philadelphia market will also receive SportsNet Philadelphia at no extra charge.
Verizon offers three set-top boxes: standard definition for $4.99 per month; high definition, which includes HD channels, for $9.99 per month; and a dual-tuner, HD-capable digital video recorder for $12.99 per month.
Verizon also offers innovative features not available from other providers, such as Home Media DVR (digital video recorder) and FiOS TV Widgets. Home Media DVR, at $19.99 per month, has a multi-room DVR feature enabling up to three simultaneous viewings of recorded programs without requiring customers to set up a complex home network or buy extra equipment. Customers also can access photos and music on their PCs and play them on their TV. FiOS TV Widgets is a free interactive feature that provides viewers with local weather and traffic information while they're watching their favorite shows.
"Our all-fiber-optic network delivers a superior customer experience today and has an abundance of bandwidth for the exciting services we'll offer in the future," said Marilyn O'Connell, Verizon's senior vice president of video solutions. "Customers will be delighted with the new interactive features we're launching in 2007."
New FiOS TV features that customers will see in 2007 include:
- 2D and 3D video games - interactive console-like games that customers will play on the TV.
- An Internet portal to manage certain FiOS TV features such as channel favorites and parental controls. Customers will also be able to use their cell phones to program the DVR.
- Home shopping - customers will use their remote control to buy products from home-shopping shows. They also will be able to use the remote to purchase products tied to shows and movies such as soundtracks and T-shirts.
- Interactive game shows - customers will extend the TV viewing experience by using their remote control to answer game-show questions or vote for contestants.
- DVD on Demand -- access to a library of DVD-based content, including games and how-to and educational titles that provide information-enriched content.
- Enhanced search capability that makes it easy for customers to do a global search of titles, actors, singers and other information across the TV, DVR and video-on-demand content.
- More international programming for Verizon's diverse customers. FiOS TV provides 16 international a la carte channels today, and it will triple the number of international channels early next year.
Verizon will bring FiOS TV to additional markets in 2007 and beyond, including many in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey where it has video franchises. The company has obtained video franchises in 95 municipalities in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. Verizon also has obtained eight franchises in Delaware, including one that covers all the unincorporated parts of the state. The company continues to negotiate local franchises in both states.
Nationally, Verizon's video franchises cover approximately 5 million households in 10 states and more than 230 franchise areas.
In addition to Pennsylvania, Verizon currently offers FiOS TV in parts of California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Virginia and Maryland. Delaware and New Jersey will bring to 10 the states where the company offers FiOS TV. Verizon also announced last week that it is establishing a video hub office in the Pittsburgh area that will enable it to offer FiOS TV in that part of the state as early as late next year.
Delivered over Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, FiOS TV is a formidable competitor to cable and satellite. The Verizon FTTP network is currently under construction in more than half the states where the company offers landline communications services.
Since Verizon began building its fiber-optic network in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, the company has placed nearly 90 million feet of fiber - enough to stretch from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and back more than three times - and created hundreds of new full-time positions to build and support the network and FiOS services. Verizon will hire hundreds of additional employees as it expands its fiber network.
The network brings the power and capacity of fiber optics directly into people's homes and 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. It also delivers Internet download speeds of up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps as well as high-quality voice service.*
"Our all-fiber-optic upgrade is a complete transformation of Verizon's communications network," said James V. O'Rourke, Verizon senior vice president-operations for Pennsylvania and Delaware. "This transformation will offer consumers the very best services: super-fast Internet speeds, superior TV and crystal-clear voice, all at competitive prices with Verizon's unmatched customer service."
The value of FiOS TV extends to the installation and customer support. Specially trained Verizon technicians will install the service and acquaint subscribers with FiOS TV features and services. Verizon is waiving the installation fee for up to three existing TV outlets, and there is no charge to install a needed optical network terminal at the subscriber's home. Charges for other installation services, such as additional outlets, may apply. Verizon provides 24x7 technical assistance by phone from its specialized Fiber Solutions Centers.
* NOTE: actual (throughput) speeds will vary.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a New York-based 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 nearly 57 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. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
FiOS TV is now available in parts of the following southeastern Pennsylvania communities:
Lower Gwynedd Township
Upper Dublin Township
Upper Gwynedd Township
Upper Providence Township
Upper Merion Township
East Pikeland Township
West Pikeland Township
East Bradford Township
East Goshen Township
West Bradford Township
West Chester Borough
West Goshen Township
Langhorne Manor Borough
Lower Southampton Township