Clay Becomes First Central New York Municipality to Award TV Franchise to Verizon

NEW YORK - Clay, N.Y., stand up and take a bow.

The Clay Town Board Monday night (March 16) became the first municipality in the central New York region to approve a television franchise for Verizon, allowing the company to bring FiOS TV to the Onandaga County town.

The company is in the process of building and installing the necessary video equipment into local central offices in the region, and anticipates that FiOS TV service will be turned on for new customers in the town later this year. 

In securing a TV franchise from the Town of Clay, Verizon has signaled its intention to bring its revolutionary FiOS TV service - delivered over Verizon's all fiber-optic network - into the central New York market.  The company is continuing to develop its plans and is anticipating that it will have TV franchise discussions with other central New York municipalities during 2009.

The franchise from Clay marks the 148th TV franchise Verizon has secured in New York.  The most recent one is the TV franchise awarded by the village of Long Beach, in Nassau County, on Feb. 17.

"This marks yet another milepost in the expansion of our revolutionary FiOS TV product," said Andrés Irlando, Verizon senior vice president for the New York region.  "Bringing FiOS TV to a new region demonstrates Verizon's commitment to the state in terms of investment, jobs and state-of-the-art broadband technology that leapfrogs anything currently available from other carriers.  I want to commend the Town of Clay for recognizing the economic and consumer benefits of broadband investment and competition.

"This franchise agreement also clearly shows the customer demand for choice in broadband, television and entertainment services.  For too long, residents in central New York have been at a disadvantage by being locked in to one cable television provider -- in essence, a monopoly.  Our goal is to provide our current and future customers with a choice, a far superior technology for their homes and businesses, and great value for their money," he said.

Irlando also pointed out that the company has been marketing FiOS Internet and voice services in the central New York market for several years, and has gained a sizable market share.  "We want to capitalize on that investment, and offer these customers a fuller and more robust set of TV and entertainment services," he said.

Irlando noted that with thousands of employees in Onondaga County alone, Verizon already is a key employer in the region.  Almost four years ago, Verizon opened a Fiber Solutions Center on Thompson Road in Syracuse, which acts as a customer service and tech help-desk for FiOS customers primarily in New York, but across the country as well.  The center now employs about 400 people, many of whom are union-represented.

As with all local franchise approvals in New York, the agreement between Verizon and the town is subject to review by the New York State Public Service Commission.

A staple in the New York business community with more than 32,000 employees in the state, Verizon is continuing to invest in the state's infrastructure by building, maintaining and enhancing its wireline and wireless networks across New York, including its state-of-the-art fiber-optic network, providing consumers and businesses with reliable FiOS services for their Internet, entertainment and voice services.

FiOS TV Service Highlights

FiOS TV service highlights include:

  • More than 500 all-digital channels grouped by genres such as entertainment, sports, news, shopping, movies and family, making it easy for audiences to find their favorite programming.

  • More than 100 HD channels in every FiOS TV market, with extraordinary clarity and theater-quality sound.

  • An industry-leading library of more than 14,000 video-on-demand (VOD) titles each month, 70 percent of which are free. In addition, the VOD library includes 1,200 HD titles per month.

  • An innovative interactive media guide (IMG) that helps customers quickly and easily find and enjoy content from TV listings, VOD catalogs and the digital video recorder (DVR), as well as personal music and photos from a home network.  Among the features of the IMG are:

    • Multi-Room DVR - Verizon's Home Media DVR allows customers to stream recorded HD and standard-definition (SD) programs to up to six other TV sets throughout the home.  This includes the ability to watch three separately recorded shows on three TV sets at the same time, plus pause recorded programming in one room and continue watching in another.

    • Widgets - Customers have one-touch, on-demand access to local weather and traffic reports shown on TV screens.  Widgets provide local traffic and weather reports, daily local and national news headlines, daily national sports headlines, community news, and daily horoscopes.

    • Free casual games - With the remote control and an HD set-top box, customers can access chess, solitaire, sudoku and wordplay.

    • "What's Hot on FiOS TV" - Features information on the most-popular programs currently being broadcast in the region and the most popular VOD titles.

    • "Wait for Me" - Allows customers to pause live programming, change channels, and then return to the paused program and pick up where they left off.

    • Channel sorting options - Customers can create two separate lists of favorite channels for family members.  Customers also can filter channels in the guide by genre, for instances where a customer only may want to see HD content, international channels or kids programming, among others.

    • Fantasy Football - FiOS TV customers who are registered users of ESPN Fantasy Football will have instant on-screen access to personalized NFL statistics, including rosters, box scores, scoring leaders and player information.

Programming choices for Hispanic, African-American, Asian, Russian and other multicultural audiences are available in every market, making FiOS TV an outlet for emerging and independent networks to showcase their diverse programming.

Verizon's FiOS TV service was selected as the top-ranked residential television service provider in the Northeast region by J.D. Power for 2008.  FiOS TV is currently available to more than 9.2 million homes in 14 states: California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Verizon's fiber network 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 delivers Internet download speeds of up to 50 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps, as well as high-quality voice service.*

The Town of Clay joins a growing list of New York communities that are paving the way for competition and choice in the television market.  In addition to the town, Verizon has been granted video franchises in the following municipalities:

City of New York

Long Island
Amityville, Atlantic Beach, Massapequa Park, Cedarhurst, Laurel Hollow, Lynbrook, Mineola, East Hills, East Rockaway, Farmingdale, Valley Stream, Freeport, Williston Park, New Hyde Park, Sands Point, Bayville, Old Field, Floral Park, South Floral Park, Garden City, Nissequogue, Northport, Poquott, East Williston, Head of the Harbor, Hewlett Bay Park, Mill Neck, Stewart Manor, Centre Island, Lawrence, Lindenhurst, Malverne, Manorhaven, Huntington Bay, The Branch, Oyster Bay Cove, Flower Hill, Great Neck, Great Neck Estates, Great Neck Plaza, Kensington, Kings Point, Lake Success, Munsey Park, North Hills, Plandome, Plandome Heights, Plandome Manor, Port Washington North, Rockville Centre, Roslyn, Roslyn Estates, Roslyn Harbor, Russell Gardens, Saddle Rock, Thomaston, Bellerose, Lloyd Harbor, Baxter Estates, Hempstead, Cove Neck, Brightwaters, Hewlett Harbor and Long Beach; and the towns of North Hempstead, Huntington, Smithtown, Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Islip and Babylon

Westchester County
Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Tarrytown, Irvington, Greenburgh, Eastchester, Mount Kisco, Elmsford, Port Chester, Tuckahoe, White Plains, Rye Brook, North Castle, Mount Vernon, Mount Pleasant, Yonkers, Scarsdale, Bronxville, New Rochelle, Cortlandt, Peekskill, Buchanan, Rye, Larchmont, the Village of Mamaroneck, the Town of Mamaroneck, New Castle, Pelham Manor, Sleepy Hollow, Briarcliff Manor, the Town of Ossining, the Village of Ossining and the Town of Yorktown

Rockland County
Nyack, South Nyack, Upper Nyack, Grandview-on-Hudson, Clarkstown, Orangetown, Piermont, Airmont, the Town of Haverstraw, West Haverstraw, Chestnut Ridge, Ramapo, Spring Valley, Stony Point, the Village of Haverstraw, Suffern, Hillburn, Wesley Hills, Montebello, New Hempstead and Pomona

Dutchess County
Wappinger, Wappingers Falls and Village of Fishkill, Town of Fishkill, City of Poughkeepsie and Town of Poughkeepsie

Orange County
City of Newburgh and Town of Newburgh

Erie County
Amherst, Blasdell, Lackawanna, Village of Hamburg, Town of Hamburg, West Seneca, Tonawanda, Village of Orchard Park, Town of Orchard Park and Kenmore

Putnam County
Kent, Town of Carmel

* 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 80 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 224,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.