ALBANY, N.Y. - The New York Public Service Commission today rejected a petition from Cablevision, now Optimum Online, and the Cable Telecommunications Association of New York Inc. aimed at frustrating consumer choice for better voice, data and video services.
"This is a victory for New York consumers," said Paul A. Crotty, president of Verizon New York/Connecticut. "The cable-TV industry, led by Cablevision, failed in this transparent attempt to deny New Yorkers faster, better broadband services and the promise of future choice for TV programming."
Verizon is upgrading its network in New York to link individual homes and businesses with fiber connections. The all-fiber network, called FTTP (fiber-to-the-premises), provides crystal-clear voice and ultra-fast Internet access services, and also has the capacity to offer a full suite of video services in competition with cable-TV providers.
Cablevision and other cable-TV providers in the state filed their petition earlier this year claiming Verizon should be forced to cease rolling out its FTTP network until it had obtained local franchise agreements for offering cable-TV services.
In rejecting cable TV's argument, the PSC concluded that today's decision promotes investment in advanced technologies in New York and creates opportunities for increased competition and consumer choice for voice, data and, eventually, video services.
"Verizon is building a broadband future for New York," Crotty said. "Our all-fiber network is bringing greater choice, competition and innovation to the marketplace."
Many New Yorkers are already learning the advantages of Verizon's fiber-based, Internet access services, called FiOS. "Even though we've only just begun marketing our FiOS services, we've been very pleased with the initial consumer interest," Crotty added. "We also know consumers are looking forward to another choice for cable TV."
Verizon has indicated it will not offer cable service in a selected community until a franchise has been obtained. While Verizon seeks video franchises from localities where it is upgrading its network, consumers in those communities will have the benefit of enhanced voice and ultra-fast Internet services offered over the all-fiber network.
"The vast majority of communities have welcomed this exciting upgrade of our existing network," Crotty said. "They understand that an all-fiber network offers their constituents exciting new options for voice and data, as well as the ability to also provide a full suite of video services. We look forward to working with public officials at all levels to bring consumer choice and new economic development opportunities to our state."
With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of 212,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 45.5 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.