Verizon Seeks Franchise to Bring TV Choice to R.I.

WARWICK, R.I. - Verizon will tell state regulatory officials Wednesday (Oct. 4) that the company's plan to bring its state-of-the art FiOS TV to Rhode Island will offer real choice for the first time to thousands of Ocean State consumers and will result in tremendous benefits to residents, municipalities and the local economy.

Those remarks will come at a public hearing of the state Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, which is considering Verizon's request for a TV franchise for Service Area 6. The area includes Warwick, West Warwick, East Greenwich, West Greenwich, Exeter, North Kingstown and Coventry, and comprises some 80,000 households.

Verizon has already built much of its fiber network in Service Area 6 and already is providing super-fast Internet service in seven Rhode Island communities.  Last year Verizon opened its new $7 million Fiber Solutions Center in Providence, hiring more than 200 specially trained technicians who are dedicated to providing outstanding customer service to FiOS TV customers throughout the Northeast.

FiOS TV is the company's new fiber-optic television service, delivered over the only all-digital, fiber network that is being made available, on a mass scale, to millions of individual homes and businesses. It offers a better quality picture, more high definition and on-demand programs, and more reliable service at competitive prices.

"We are looking forward to being able to give Rhode Island consumers a real choice in cable TV service," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president for Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  "In every state in which we have introduced FiOS TV, consumers are seeing better service and better prices.

"Consumers in Rhode Island should be able to choose their cable provider as easily as they choose their phone company," said Cupelo. "Competition drives innovation, value and service quality, and it puts the consumer in control."

A recent poll of Rhode Island consumers indicates that 91 percent want cable-TV choice. Independent studies have shown that competition in the video market brings enormous benefits to consumers in the form of reduced prices, better packages and improved service.

Verizon already offers FiOS TV in seven states -- California, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York, Texas and Virginia -- and will soon begin offering FiOS TV in Delaware, Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Verizon currently has franchises in 19 Massachusetts communities.

FiOS TV offers a broad collection of all-digital programming, two dozen high-definition channels, video on demand and more.  It is delivered over Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises 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. 

In addition to FiOS TV, Verizon's fiber network also allows the company to offer consumers and businesses high-speed FiOS Internet Service at download speeds of up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds up to 5 Mbps.* 

*NOTE: actual throughput speeds will vary.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, 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 nearly 55 million customers nationwide.  Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks.  Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 252,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.