PLANO, Texas - Deep in the heart of North Texas, a video service shootout begins today between Verizon, Comcast and satellite providers, with the winner gaining critical consumer market share in this city of more than 250,000.
Effective immediately, about one-third of the 65,000 Verizon-served households in Plano can order the company's FiOS TV service, which offers a broad collection of all-digital programming with more than 350 total channels and more on the way.
The initial offer will be available to all Verizon local telephone customers who live east of Central Expressway, plus several thousand households situated west of Central Expressway and bordered by Spring Creek Parkway to the north, parts of Custer Road to the west and Plano Parkway to the south. Thousands more Plano residents, plus households in neighboring cities served by Verizon equipment in Plano, will be able to order FiOS TV this summer. Additional expansion will take place throughout Plano during the second half of the year.
The launch of FiOS TV in Plano follows the passage just six months ago of a state-issued video franchise that expedited by about one year the time frame in which Verizon can offer residents of Plano and other local cities a competitive alternative to existing cable and satellite services.
"This is liberation day for Verizon customers in Plano. No longer will they have such a limited choice for their video services," said Verizon Southwest Region President Steve Banta. "Sales of FiOS Internet Service and FiOS TV continue to grow at a record pace, which reveals how important broadband has become in today's society. The value and features of our FiOS voice, data and video services fit hand in glove with a family-oriented community like Plano where people, young and old alike, will enjoy our service."
Plano joins 16 other Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs as the first cities in Texas to receive the company's new fiber-optic television service, which is delivered over the nation's only all-digital, fiber network being made available, on a mass scale, to millions of individual homes and businesses in multiple states. The other Texas communities are: Carrollton, Colleyville, Coppell, Flower Mound, north Fort Worth, Grapevine, Highland Village, Irving, Keller, Lewisville, Murphy, Rowlett, Sachse, Southlake, Westlake and Wylie.
By the end of the year, as Verizon continues building out its fiber-optic network that now spans 20 million feet in North Texas, FiOS TV will be available to nearly 400,000 North Texas households, or 33 percent of Verizon's landline customers in Texas, with over 1 million potential viewers. In Plano alone, Verizon crews have placed 5 million feet of fiber since December 2004.
Verizon will continue its rollout of FiOS TV in the rest of the company's previously announced FiOS markets in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and expand the video service to more cities later this year.
In early May, customers can visit a kiosk at the Verizon Wireless store in east Plano, 2901 N. Central Expressway, and see how FiOS Internet Service and FiOS TV can enhance an individual's computer and TV viewing experience. Customers interested in learning more about FiOS and other broadband services can also visit the Verizon broadband lounge at the Verizon Phone Plus store near Collin Creek Mall, at 641 W. Plano Pkwy.
FiOS TV service highlights include:
- A broad collection of all-digital programming and compelling consumer choice - with more than 350 total channels and more on the way.
- A lead offer with more than 180 digital video and music channels, for $34.95 a month with Verizon FiOS Internet Service or a qualifying voice plan or $39.95 as a stand-alone service. Additional discounts are available with an annual savings agreement.
- 24 high-definition (HD) channels, with extraordinary clarity and theater-quality sound.
- Over 2,200 On Demand titles available to customers now, increasing to over 3,500 titles in the next several months.
- Channels grouped by genres such as entertainment, sports, news, shopping, movies and family, making it easy for audiences to find their favorite programming.
- An easy-to-use interactive programming guide that integrates HD programming, On Demand content and the digital video recorder along with broadcast television into a seamless user experience.
- A dual-tuner, HD-capable DVR that gives customers the freedom to pause and rewind live TV, record one show while watching another, and fast forward to their favorite part of the program - all without a VCR, tapes or DVDs.
FiOS TV is also available to customers in Herndon, Reston and surrounding parts of Fairfax County, Va.; Nyack, South Nyack and Massapequa Park, N.Y.; Clarksville, Columbia and Ellicott City, Md.; Lynnfield, Reading and Woburn, Mass; Temple Terrace, parts of southern Manatee County and parts of Hillsborough County, Fla; and Beaumont and Murrieta, Calif.
Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network brings the power and capacity of fiber optics directly into people's homes and has industry-leading quality and reliability. Fiber delivers high quality 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 services.
FiOS TV subscribers can choose from three simple-to-understand service offerings, each with built-in choice and value. They can then choose from packages and premium channels with programming that meets their special interests. Verizon offers three set-top boxes: standard definition for $3.95 per month; high definition, which includes HD channels, for $9.95 per month; and a dual-tuner, HD-capable digital video recorder for $12.95 per month.
The services include:
- FiOS TV Local, with access to 15-35 local broadcast, weather and community channels for $12.95 per month. The service is digital with a set-top box, which also provides access to On Demand programming. Basic is also available as an analog service that does not require a set-top box for viewing.
- FiOS TV Premier, Verizon's lead offer, delivers more than 180 video and music channels for $34.95 a month with Verizon FiOS Internet Service or a qualifying voice plan. This tier includes access to On Demand content and requires a set-top box. High-definition channels are included in this tier at no extra charge, and customers must have an HD set-top box and an HD-ready TV to view them.
- La Conexión, an alternative to Expanded Basic service designed for bilingual consumers who enjoy TV programs in English and Spanish, for $27.95 per month with Verizon FiOS Internet Service or a qualifying voice plan. La Conexión is also available as a stand-alone service for $32.95 per month. The package includes nearly 140 channels with English and Spanish-language programming and access to On Demand programming. This service requires a set-top box. High-definition channels are included in this tier at no extra charge, and customers must have an HD set-top box and an HD-ready TV to view them.
Verizon FiOS TV customers who sign up for 12 months of FiOS TV Premier or La Conexión will receive additional discounts through an annual savings agreement. FiOS TV customers will have the choice of receiving $5 off the monthly Movie Package price for an annual savings of $60. Or, customers can waive the monthly standard set-top box fee of $3.95 - an annual savings of $47.40.
Consumers with a passion for movies can add the movie package with 44 channels of Starz, Encore, Showtime, The Movie Channel, Sundance and Flix, as well as 255 titles of On Demand programming, for a regular price of $11.95 a month. Sports enthusiasts can add a 15-channel sports package for $5.95 a month. Or, both packages can be purchased for $14.95 a month. In addition to the movie package, customers with a set-top box can order new, On Demand movie releases for $3.95 each or choose from a selection of movie library titles for $2.95 each.
For wrestling fans, Verizon offers World Wrestling Entertainment's WWE 24/7, a subscription On Demand service, for $7.95 a month. Karaoke fans can sing along at home with a subscription to the Karaoke package for $7.95 a month.
Verizon also offers 14 HBO channels and 12 Cinemax channels as premium services, with each set of channels available for $14.95. The price includes access to each channel's subscription On Demand library. Subscribers who want both HBO and Cinemax will pay $24.95 per month.
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.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 51.3 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.