TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Verizon today applied to offer a real choice for TV services soon to 77,000 more households in the Tampa area. The application was filed under Florida's new cable TV franchise law and strengthens Verizon's coverage for its FiOS services to nearly 2 million households in the Tampa Bay region.
This initial application will add the cities of Tarpon Springs and Sarasota as well as portions of Pinellas County to Verizon's franchised municipalities and counties in Florida, which now numbers 16 communities. The law also features a unique provision for expanding into other calling areas, referred to as wire centers, in the future. As Verizon expands its fiber network and begins to provide service to customers, it can add these new areas to its franchise application simply by filing an amendment within five days of providing initial service in the area.
"Today's application begins the process of delivering competition and choice to more consumers in new communities, faster and smoother than with the former franchise process," said Alan Ciamporcero, Verizon's Southeast region president. "FiOS TV technology will be available to many of the households contained in this application immediately upon its approval and to others soon afterward. Further, with the five-day rule, we can make adding new communities seamless, timed to our FTTP construction and expansion."
Based on the timeline provided in the law, Verizon expects to have approval for its application on or before July 24. As a new entrant, Verizon will be required to match the number of PEG channels required by the existing incumbent franchise agreements in Sarasota, Tarpon Springs and Pinellas County. PEG channels must be offered within 180 days from notification from the local franchising authority, while PEG support will mirror the existing PEG funding as provided by the incumbent through July 1, 2012 or the expiration of the incumbent's franchise agreement whichever comes first.
"We are very pleased to file our first state application in Florida, not only for Verizon but particularly for the consumers who will now enjoy the full benefits of competitive choice," continued Ciamporcero. "We expect it to be approved on time. To others in Pinellas County and elsewhere in our territory anxiously waiting for the same opportunity, we say 'stay tuned' because we are only getting started with our expansion efforts."
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 www.verizonfios.com/tv.
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 60.7 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.