Verizon's FiOS TV Approved in Andover, Boxford, Mass.

ANDOVER, Mass. - Boards of selectmen in Andover and Boxford granted cable-TV franchise licenses to Verizon Monday night (Sept. 25), paving the way for cable TV choice for approximately 14,000 more Massachusetts households.

The two new licenses bring to 18 the total number of Massachusetts communities where Verizon's FiOS TV is or will soon be available.

"We are thrilled to be able to bring FiOS TV to residents in Andover and Boxford," said Donna Cupelo, Verizon region president for Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  "Since the launch of FiOS TV in Massachusetts earlier this year, we are continuing our efforts to meet the consumer demand for cable TV choice."

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.

The company currently offers FiOS TV in Burlington, Hamilton, Ipswich, Lynnfield, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Tewksbury, Wakefield, Wenham, Winchester and Woburn as well as other locations in New York, California, Texas, Florida, Maryland and Virginia.  In recent weeks Verizon was awarded cable-TV franchises in Boxborough, Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester, Mass., where it will make FiOS TV available in the very near future.

"As a result of these new franchises, consumers will 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."

Verizon is currently in negotiations with more than 50 other communities in Massachusetts to obtain additional franchises.  For more information on the Verizon franchise process in the state, log onto www.verizon.com/ma.

Verizon research indicates 87 percent of Massachusetts residents favor more competition and choice for video services.  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.

The franchise agreements contain provisions for the network's future growth; financial support and capacity for educational and government access channels; cable service to government buildings; and other important benefits to each town, including insurance, indemnification and enforcement protections.

"Verizon will compete aggressively for subscribers in these communities with our FiOS services, which are fueled by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network," Cupelo said.

Verizon is the first company to offer such a communications network, connecting homes and businesses directly to fiber optics on a widespread scale.

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.