130,000 Prince William County Households One Step Closer to Real Choice for Cable TV

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PRINCE WILLIAM, Va. - Prince William County residents are a major step closer to having more choice for their cable television services, thanks to the Board of Supervisors' vote yesterday (May 16) authorizing Verizon to offer its fiber-optic-powered FiOS TV here.

The county, with 130,000 households, is the seventh Virginia jurisdiction to award Verizon a cable franchise, and it joins a growing list of the region's communities that have granted franchises to Verizon. The communities include the Virginia localities of Fairfax County, the cities of Falls Church and Fairfax, the towns of Herndon and Dumfries, and the Marine Corps Base at Quantico, along with Howard County and the city of Bowie in Maryland. The company was awarded the franchise in the town of Dumfries on May 9.

Verizon, which launched FiOS TV last September in Keller, Texas, currently offers the service in parts of California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Texas and Virginia. The company will announce its FiOS TV plans for Prince William County later this year.

"We applaud Prince William officials for their foresight in giving local citizens the ability to choose their video provider as easily as they now choose their phone company," said Robert W. Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia. "Competition drives innovation, value and service quality, and we will compete aggressively for business in Prince William County with our FiOS services, which are fueled by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network."

The agreement requires Verizon to pay the community franchise fees based on the company's gross revenues on cable services.

FiOS TV is designed to be a formidable competitor to cable and satellite, offering a broad collection of all-digital programming with more than 350 total channels, nearly 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. Verizon's network design includes backup facilities not common to traditional cable systems, such as duplicate "head ends" where the TV service receives national programming.

The fiber network, known as fiber to the premises or FTTP, will link homes and businesses to Verizon's network. The new network will unleash a range of advanced communications services. In addition to video services, the 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.*

Verizon in late March announced that it will extend its fiber-optic network to a total of 25 of its local service areas in Virginia by the end of 2006, making more than 300,000 households capable of receiving the company's FiOS TV service.

* NOTE: Actual (throughput) speeds will vary.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit


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