Verizon Launches FiOS TV in Beaumont, Calif.; City First in State to Receive New Service

BEAUMONT, Calif. - Verizon unveiled Verizon FiOS TV in California today to residents of Beaumont, making this city of 21,000 the first in the state to receive the new service. Verizon will begin taking customer orders immediately.

The introduction of FiOS TV in California brings to six the number of states where Verizon offers its new TV service. FiOS TV is already available in 14 North Texas communities near Dallas; Temple Terrace, Fla.; Herndon, Va., and surrounding parts of Fairfax County, Va.; Woburn, Mass.; and Massapequa Park, N.Y.

"This is not cable TV. This is not satellite. This is FiOS TV," said Tim McCallion, president of Verizon's Pacific region. "Customers who liked what FiOS did for their Internet connection will love what it does for their TV. We've harnessed the speed and capacity of broadband with the power of broadcast to create a revolutionary, new entertainment experience."

Verizon will soon expand FiOS TV service to Murrieta, a community of 80,000. Beaumont and Murrieta granted cable franchises to Verizon in November 2004 and September 2005, respectively, and were among the first cities in the country to grant such franchise agreements to Verizon. Under current state law, potential competitors to the incumbent cable-TV operators must obtain franchises in each community they seek to serve.

Information on packages and prices is available at www.verizon.net/fiostv. Beaumont customers can call 1-800-880-2941 to see if they're able to order FiOS TV.

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. Information about Verizon Internet Service is available at www.verizon.net/fios.

Verizon's deployment of fiber optics is under way in various Southern California markets. Meanwhile, the company is negotiating video franchise agreements with 15 California cities in order to provide FiOS TV. The company was also just awarded its first franchise in Pennsylvania. 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 or $39.95 as a stand-alone service.
  • 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 provides FiOS TV over the largest fiber-to-the-premises network in the country, delivering the power and capacity of fiber optics directly into people's homes. Verizon currently is constructing fiber-to-the premises networks in more than half the states where it offers landline communications services, including more than a dozen communities in California.

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 digital video recorder and HD set-top box 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 Verizon Freedom voice plan. This tier includes access to video-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.
  • a Conexión, an alternative to Expanded Basic service designed for bilingual consumers who enjoy TV programs in English and Spanish, for $32.95 per month. The package includes nearly 140 channels with English and Spanish-language programming and access to video on demand. This service requires a set-top box. HD 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.

Consumers with a passion for sports or movies can add a 15-channel sports package for $5.95 a month, and a movie package, with 44 channels of Starz, Encore, Showtime and The Movie Channel, for $11.95 a month. The movie package includes access to each channel's video-on-demand titles. Or, they can buy both for $14.95 a month. In addition, for wrestling fans, Verizon offers World Wrestling Entertainment's WWE 24/7, a subscription video-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 video-on-demand library. Subscribers who want both HBO and Cinemax will pay $24.95 per month.

Programming choices for African-American, Latino, 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 will also offer thousands of hours of on-demand programming, including hundreds of titles of free video-on-demand programs across topics such as sports, news, information and education, home and leisure, family, children's shows and movies. Customers can order new movie releases for $3.95 each and selections from a movie library for $2.95 each.

Verizon FiOS TV customers who sign an annual service agreement for Expanded Basic or La Conexión will receive additional savings. 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.

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 Fiber Solutions Centers in Oxnard, Calif., and other cities.

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.