ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. -- The city of Zephyrhills became the 11th jurisdiction in Florida to endorse consumer choice and competition in the cable-TV market when the City Council Monday night (Dec. 11) voted to award a far-reaching franchise to Verizon for its FiOS TV product, to be delivered via its new, digital all-fiber network. The action follows the city of Port Richey's decision on Nov. 28 to grant a franchise to Verizon.
The Zephyrhills franchise, which will bring competition and consumer choice to over 12,000 residents in the city, makes Florida one of Verizon's most competitive frontiers for FiOS services. As the fiber network is built, the Zephyrhills franchise -- combined with Verizon's franchises for Temple Terrace, Tampa, Oldsmar, Bradenton and Palmetto, and Sarasota, Hillsborough, Manatee and Pasco counties -- will enable over 1.9 million residents in Verizon's Florida service territory to enjoy stepped-up competition and more consumer choice for video services in the region.
"Today's franchise in Zephyrhills enhances our efforts to bring FiOS TV to as many consumers in Pasco County as possible," said Alan Ciamporcero, Verizon's Southeast region president. "As we gain franchises like this one in Pasco, more and more residents will enjoy the competition, choice, value and industry-leading fiber technology that Verizon is already bringing to other areas of the county and to other communities in the region."
Verizon will offer FiOS TV to Zephyrhills residents sometime in 2007. Service will be extended throughout the city within three years of the initial offering. The franchise does not include the cities of Port Richey or New Port Richey.
As the fiber network is completed, residents will enjoy FiOS broadband products that deliver very fast data speeds ranging from up to 5 Mbps to up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second). Verizon currently offers FiOS TV service to over 34,000 households in the Lutz, Land O Lakes, Keystone and Wesley Chapel areas of Pasco County. Verizon, which launched FiOS TV in September 2005, also offers the service in parts of California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, North Texas and Virginia.
When Verizon reported its 2006 third-quarter earnings, the company noted that it has a total of 117,000 FiOS TV customers nationally and has achieved an average of a 10 percent penetration of FiOS TV-eligible households in its Florida market overall.
The 15-year agreement with Zephyrhills contains provisions for:
- Deployment of cable service throughout the initial franchise area no later than 36 months after the date service is first offered.
- Carriage of the Pasco County governmental access and educational access channels.
- Extensive customer service requirements.
- Liability insurance and indemnification requirements.
Verizon's FiOS TV delivers hundreds of digital video and music channels, high-definition programming, video-on-demand content, a robust interactive programming guide and other customer-friendly features. Verizon is constructing its fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network in 16 states, or more than half the states where it offers landline communications services. Only Verizon's FTTP network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes and businesses.
Customers can buy FiOS TV as a stand-alone service or packaged with voice and FiOS high-speed data services, which are already available in some areas. For information on Verizon's FiOS Internet Service and FiOS TV offerings, visit www.Verizonfios.com and www.Verizonfios.com/tv.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a New York-based 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 57 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.