Verizon to Bring South Central Pennsylvanians Major Step Closer to Real Choice for Cable TV

HARRISBURG - Cable TV competition is a major step closer for consumers in south central Pennsylvania, as Verizon today announced plans to establish a regional video hub office that will enable the company to deliver video programming over the nation's most comprehensive all-digital, fiber-optic network straight to customers' homes.

"Verizon's all-fiber network represents the future of communications and entertainment," said Verizon Pennsylvania President William B. Petersen.  "It will bring something to south central Pennsylvanians that they've never had before: more choice and competition, better value, and innovative TV services.

"With this video hub, Verizon next year could begin to offer consumers in the region FiOS TV, a superior alternative to their current cable company," said Petersen.

Verizon will begin the process of obtaining required cable franchises from local municipalities, starting in Cumberland and Dauphin counties where Verizon began constructing its all-fiber network in 2005.  The company will make further announcements as it expands its all-fiber network in south central Pennsylvania.

The new Harrisburg-area video hub office (VHO) will receive national programming via fiber-optic lines from Verizon's two "super head end" facilities.  Inside the office, Verizon employees will monitor the video and audio quality of the national channels received from the super head ends.  The VHO also will insert local programming like local TV and public-education and government channels, and then send these signals - along with the national programming - to Verizon's local central switching offices and on to consumers' homes over the all-fiber network. 

The new VHO is the third such facility in Pennsylvania. Verizon currently offers FiOS TV to 305,000 households in parts of 108 southeastern Pennsylvania communities and plans to launch the service soon in a number of communities in the southwestern part of the state. 

In addition to Pennsylvania, FiOS TV is available in 11 other states.

FiOS TV is designed to be a formidable competitor to cable and satellite, offering a broad collection of all-digital programming, high-definition channels, video-on-demand titles, an easy-to-use interactive programming guide and more. 

James V. O'Rourke, senior vice president and general manager for operations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, said, "We've harnessed the speed and capacity of broadband with the power of broadcast to create a revolutionary new entertainment experience - one that offers consumers choice, value, simplicity and innovation."

Verizon's all-fiber network 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 offers consumers and businesses super-high-speed FiOS Internet service at download speeds of up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps.* 

FiOS Internet service is currently available in parts of 29 communities in Dauphin and Cumberland counties.

O'Rourke said, "We're proud of our track record in rolling out FiOS services in southeastern and southwestern Pennsylvania, where the response from consumers has been phenomenal.  We expect south central Pennsylvanians to be equally delighted by - and eager for - a better choice for their TV service." 

* NOTE: actual (throughput) speeds will vary.

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 62 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 has a diverse workforce of more than 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.