Chesterfield County, Va., Residents to See More Choice, Competition as County Awards Cable Franchise to Verizon

CHESTERFIELD, Va. -- More residents of Chesterfield County are a step closer to having choice for their cable television services, thanks to a unanimous vote by the county Board of Supervisors Wednesday night (April 25) authorizing Verizon to offer its fiber-optic-powered FiOS TV. 

The cable franchise covers approximately 110,000 households in Chesterfield County.  Verizon currently offers FiOS TV to more than 22,000 county households and will make the service available to all households in its initial service area in the county within three years.  The company will offer FiOS TV to at least 80 percent of county households over the next 10 years. 

Verizon began offering FiOS TV in parts of Chesterfield County earlier this month under the rules for an "ordinance franchise," which is part of a new law passed last year to accelerate choice and competition for cable television services.  The negotiated franchise approved by the board of supervisors will be effective retroactively to April 12, 2007. 

FiOS TV is the only TV service delivered over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network straight to consumers' homes.

"It's clear from the tremendous demand for FiOS TV that Virginians want choice and competition for their TV service," said Robert W. Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia.  "FiOS TV offers an innovative, reliable and competitive alternative to the incumbent cable provider – powered by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network. 

"Richmond-area residents are saying 'yes' to FiOS TV in rapidly growing numbers, and we hope to increase those numbers even more as we build out our all-fiber network in more of Chesterfield County."

Chesterfield County joins 17 other Virginia municipalities, including neighboring Richmond and Henrico County, that have awarded franchises to Verizon.  The company also currently offers FiOS TV in northern Virginia, Newport News and Virginia Beach.

In addition to Virginia, Verizon currently provides FiOS TV in parts of California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.  The company is preparing to offer FiOS TV in parts of Indiana and Rhode Island.

FiOS TV offers a broad collection of all-digital programming, 21 high-definition channels in the Richmond market, 8,600 video-on-demand titles and more.  It is delivered over Verizon's all-fiber-optic 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 crystal-clear voice service and high-speed FiOS Internet Service at download speeds of up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds up to 5 Mbps.*   FiOS Internet Service currently is available to many consumers and small businesses in the Richmond area.

* NOTE: actual (throughput) speeds will vary.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, 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 more than 59 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.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 242,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.