Virginia General Assembly Passes Cable Choice Bill

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia General Assembly Senate and House of Delegates have passed legislation that will hasten competition for cable television services in the state. The bill now moves to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine for his signature into law. If signed by Gov. Kaine, the new law will take effect July 1. The following statement should be attributed to Robert W. Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia.

"Virginians today are another major step closer to having more competitive choices for their cable television services. In July, Virginia will join Texas as a pioneer in bringing cable choice to consumers more quickly.

"Everyone wins when companies compete, and now Virginians will see greater innovation, better value and real choice for subscription TV.

"With this compromise legislation, Verizon will be able to accelerate investment in our fiber-optic network in Virginia, more quickly adding an awesome FiOS TV component to our reliable voice phone service and blazing-fast FiOS Internet Service.

"No party got all it wanted in the legislation, but the end result is one Verizon believes will stimulate competition, increase consumer choice and provide localities with continued control over their rights of way, consistent with the legal requirements in Virginia.

"We will have more to say about our investment plans in Virginia in coming days, but it's safe to say that - as this legislation becomes law - those plans will reflect the progressive business environment in the Commonwealth.

"Our hats are off to the members of the General Assembly who have approved this legislation - particularly Dels. Terry Kilgore and Morgan Griffith and Sens. Walter Stosch and Kenneth Stolle, who along with Mark Rubin - senior advisor to Gov. Kaine - forged this compromise."