Verizon Takes First Step to Bring Cable TV Competition to Western New York

BUFFALO, N. Y. - Building on its revolutionary all-fiber-optic network that continues to grow in the Buffalo area, Verizon announced plans Thursday (Sept. 20) to establish a video hub office in Erie County. 

The office, which will distribute Verizon's FiOS TV service to televisions in thousands of homes by late next year, represents the first step in the company's efforts to provide a real alternative to cable television service in the area. 

Verizon will begin construction on the video hub facility and expects to start offering FiOS TV service in parts of Erie County late next year. 

Maura Breen, senior vice president and general manager for New York and Connecticut, said, "We're proud of our track record in rolling out FiOS Internet services to the western New York region, and we are delighted to begin the process of offering our customers - and future customers - choice and competition for their TV service, initially in Erie County." 

Verizon customers in the towns and villages of Hamburg and Orchard Park, parts of West Seneca, Amherst and Cheektowaga, and in parts of the University District in Buffalo, already enjoy ultra-fast FiOS Internet service, delivered over the company's futuristic all-fiber network, which brings cable-killing speed and capacity directly to their homes.

The leader in deployment of broadband networks, Verizon began building its next-generation fiber network in eight communities in the western part of the state in 2006.  The following year, those communities began receiving Verizon's FiOS Internet service over the fiber connections directly to their homes. 

Verizon currently has secured video franchises in 62 New York communities in the downstate areas of Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, and in Westchester and Rockland counties north of New York City. 

Service Highlights

Verizon's FiOS TV Premier package delivers 200 all-digital channels for $42.99 per month.  The package includes 28 high-definition (HD) channels in the New York market and access to more than 8,600 on-demand titles, 60 percent of which are free.  Sports fans subscribing to FiOS TV Premier in the New York market will also receive the YES Network, MSG Network, FSN New York and SportsNet NY at no extra charge.

All Verizon FiOS TV-eligible customers in New York have the option to trim their monthly bill by bundling FiOS TV service, FiOS Internet service and the Verizon Freedom Essentials voice service - all for under $95 a month.

Verizon offers three set-top boxes: standard definition for $4.99 per month; high definition, which includes HD channels, for $9.99 per month; and a dual-tuner, HD-capable digital video recorder for $12.99 per month.

Verizon also offers innovative features not available from other providers, such as Home Media DVR (digital video recorder) and FiOS TV Widgets.  Home Media DVR, at $19.99 per month, has a multi-room DVR feature enabling up to three simultaneous viewings of recorded programs without requiring customers to set up a complex home network or buy extra equipment.  Customers also can access photos and music on their PCs and play them on their TV.  FiOS TV Widgets is a free interactive feature that provides viewers with local weather and traffic information while they're watching their favorite shows.

In addition to New York, Verizon currently offers FiOS TV in parts of California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.

Delivered over Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, FiOS TV is a formidable competitor to cable and satellite.  Verizon's FTTP network 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.  The company's fiber network also delivers Internet download speeds of up to 50 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps, as well as high-quality voice service.*

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 24 x 7 technical assistance by phone from its specialized Fiber Solutions Centers.

* NOTE: actual (throughput) speeds will vary.

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 62 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.