Venice Grants the Latest Verizon FiOS TV Franchise in Florida

VENICE, Fla. - The city of Venice Tuesday (Jan. 9) became the 12th jurisdiction in Florida to endorse consumer choice and competition in the cable-TV market when the City Council voted to award a far-reaching franchise to Verizon for its FiOS TV product, to be delivered via its new, digital all-fiber network.

The franchise, which will bring competition and consumer choice to nearly 21,000 residents in the city, makes Florida one of Verizon's most competitive frontiers for FiOS services.  As the fiber network is built, the Venice franchise -- combined with Verizon's franchises for Temple Terrace, Tampa, Oldsmar, Manatee County, Bradenton, Palmetto, Sarasota County, Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Port Richey and Zephyrhills -- will enable more than 1.9 million residents in Verizon's Florida service territory to enjoy stepped-up competition and more consumer choice for video services in the region.

"The decision by the Venice City Council today to grant Verizon a franchise follows the council's initial interest over a year ago when council members approached us about establishing a franchise in the city," said Alan Ciamporcero, Verizon's Southeast region president.  "We are beginning to get similar inquiries from other farsighted municipalities that, like Venice, recognize that Verizon's FiOS service and all-fiber network are a valuable economic development project for their community. 

"So we are grateful to the Venice City Council for  its interest in having Verizon bring competition, choice, value and industry-leading fiber technology to Venice's residents and for  warmly welcoming us to the community," continued Ciamporcero.  "We are ready to serve Venice and will be busy throughout the next year and thereafter constructing the fiber network.  We look forward to providing our FiOS service to Venice residents as soon as possible and for many years to come."

Verizon will offer FiOS TV to some residents in the city during 2007.  Service will be extended throughout the city within three years of the initial offering.  The franchise does not include the cities of Sarasota and North Port.

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 currently offers service to over 13,000 households in areas to the north of Venice in Sarasota County.  Verizon, which launched FiOS TV in September 2005, also offers the service in parts of California, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Texas, Pennsylvania and Virginia.   

When Verizon reported its 2006 third-quarter earnings, the company noted that it has a total of 117,000 FiOS TV customers nationally and has achieved an average of a 10 percent penetration of FiOS TV-eligible households in its Florida market overall. 

The 15-year agreement contains provisions for:

  • Deployment of cable service throughout the initial franchise area no later than 36 months after the service is launched.

  • Extensive customer service requirements.

  • Liability insurance and indemnification requirements.

The TV service Venice residents will have access to will also feature Sarasota County's governmental access channel and its educational access channel, though not as a part of the Venice franchise provisions.

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.Verizonfios.com and http://www.verizonfios.com/tv.

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.