Verizon Is Granted Authority to Offer FiOS TV to 735,000 Residents of Hillsborough County, Fla., and Launches the Service in Manatee County, Fla.

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Hillsborough County Commission voted today for consumer choice and competition in the cable-TV market by awarding a far-reaching video franchise to Verizon for its FiOS TV product, to be delivered via its new, all-fiber network. Verizon today also launched FiOS TV to 2,400 households in southern Manatee County.

The new franchise, which gives Verizon authority to offer FiOS TV to 735,000 residents of Hillsborough County, is the third municipal franchise granted in Florida to the company and the largest one in the state, thus far. The other franchise was granted by Temple Terrace, where Verizon began rolling out FiOS TV in December.

Meanwhile, Verizon is continuing its campaign to be permitted to deliver television services to customers throughout its six-county service territory in Florida. The company is negotiating with the cities of Tampa and Bradenton, and Sarasota and Pasco counties while also participating in an industry push to obtain passage by the Florida Legislature of a state-issued franchise law this year.

"This is a tremendous day for the citizens of Hillsborough and Manatee County," said Alan Ciamporcero, Verizon's Southeast region president. "Residents of Temple Terrace are already discovering both the benefits of competitive choice and the outstanding technological qualities of our fiber network. Verizon commends the Hillsborough County Commission for getting this job done. We look forward to building out our fiber network throughout the county and to providing our great FiOS Internet and TV services as quickly as possible."

Verizon has already placed fiber in significant portions of Hillsborough County. 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) and will begin to receive FiOS TV service in the coming months.

In Manatee County, Verizon is making FiOS TV available immediately to 2,400 households and will extend the service in additional parts of the county in the near future, as determined by the company's franchise agreement and its network deployment plans.

Verizon has also begun selling its FiOS TV product in several north Texas communities and in communities in Virginia, New York and Massachusetts. In Keller, Texas, Verizon's first TV market, 21 percent of the homes to which FiOS TV is available have subscribed to it.

FiOS TV is designed to be a formidable competitor to cable and satellite. It is delivered over Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, which has industry-leading quality and reliability. Fiber 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. 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.

Verizon's network design includes backup facilities not common to traditional cable systems, such as duplicate "super head ends" where the TV service receives national programming.

Service highlights include:

  • A broad collection of all-digital programming and compelling consumer choice - with more than 390 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 product.
  • More than 20 high-definition channels, with extraordinary clarity and theater-quality sound.
  • More than 1,800 video-on-demand titles available to customers now, increasing to 2,000 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, video on demand and the digital video recorder along with broadcast television into a seamless user experience.
  • A dual-tuner 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.

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.