IRVING, Texas - Verizon this week expanded its FiOS TV service in North Texas, providing several thousand households in Highland Village and Rowlett with a broad range of programming choices and superior picture quality. The two communities join 14 others in the DFW Metroplex as the first markets in Texas for the company's new fiber-optic television service.
The service is delivered over the only all-digital, fiber network that is being made available, on a mass scale, to millions of individual homes and businesses. Verizon also announced the addition of two new high-definition channels in its Texas lineup, bringing the total HD channels to 24. The new channels, with an estimated availability date of March 30, are MTV HD (Channel 823) and National Geographic HD (Channel 822). Customers need an HD-ready TV set and an HD set-top box to receive HD programming.
"Highland Village has always been served by one cable provider, and the introduction of Verizon to the market now gives our residents a choice for their television service," said Michael Leavitt, Highland Village city manager. "The introduction of this new infrastructure to our residents assures a technology-driven market will be available to existing and new homes for the future needs and desires in telecommunication. That means competition ultimately is good for the consumer."
Craig Owens, Rowlett city manager, said, "We are excited about the technology investment Verizon has made in the city of Rowlett. FiOS offers our citizens access to cutting-edge communication products and services."
The service introduction follows the passage of a state-issued video franchise last fall that expedited by about one year the time frame in which Verizon can offer residents of Highland Village and Rowlett and 20 other cities a competitive alternative to existing cable and satellite services.
"Verizon customers in Highland Village and Rowlett no longer will be at the mercy of a single cable-TV company," said Verizon Southwest Region President Steve Banta. "Sales of FiOS Internet Service and FiOS TV are brisk in North Texas and reflect the pent-up demand people have for more bandwidth and an alternative choice for their in-home TV service."
"The overwhelming consumer response for our FiOS service has also created the need for us to add more local jobs to stay well ahead of the demand curve," Banta added. "So not only is our fiber initiative delivering great value to customers, but it's helping to fuel the local economy."
"By mid-year, the company plans to add 200 additional fiber technicians who provide installation and repair services; 50 customer service representatives at its Dallas fiber solutions center; and 50 sales representatives at its Dallas call center. The 300 new jobs, combined with others created since the company began building its fiber-optic network in North Texas, will total nearly 1,100 by the end of June" said Banta.
With the launch of FiOS TV in Highland Village and Rowlett, Verizon now offers its all-fiber-optic-based TV service to 16 North Texas communities where it competes against existing cable and satellite providers. The other communities are: Carrollton, Colleyville, Coppell, Flower Mound, north Fort Worth, Grapevine, Irving, Keller, Lewisville, Murphy, Sachse, Southlake, Westlake and Wylie.
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 by expanding the video service to nine more communities later this year. They are: Allen, Denton, Double Oak, Garland, Hebron, Lucas, Parker, Plano and St. Paul. By the end of 2006, as Verizon continues building out its fiber-optic network that now spans more than 19.8 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.
Information on packages and prices is available at www.verizon.net/fiostv. North Texas customers also can call 1-800-880-2941 to see if they can order FiOS TV.
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.
- 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.
Information on packages and prices is available at www.verizon.net/fiostv. Customers also can call 1-800-880-2941 to see if they are able to order FiOS TV.
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.; Reading and Woburn, Mass; Temple Terrace, parts of southern Manatee County and parts of Hillsborough County, Fla; and Beaumont and Murrieta, Calif.
Delivered over Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, FiOS TV is a formidable competitor to cable and satellite. The 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.
Programming choices for African-American, Asian, Russian and other multicultural and ethnic audiences will be available in every market. Because FiOS TV has so much capacity, it will also be an outlet for emerging and independent networks to showcase their diverse programming.
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:
- Basic, 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.
- Expanded Basic, 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 Expanded Basic or La Conexión will receive additional discounts through a newly instituted 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.