New TV Choice for Hundreds of Thousands More California Consumers as Verizon Gets Go-Ahead From California PUC

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Hundreds of thousands more consumers will soon have the choice of Verizon's industry-leading FiOS TV service under California's first state-issued video franchise, granted Thursday (March 8) by the Public Utilities Commission.

"The commission's rapid approval of our application opens up an exciting new dimension in home entertainment for many of our Southern California customers," said Tim McCallion, Verizon's West region president. "This is a huge victory for consumers."

Under the franchise, Verizon can offer FiOS TV in 45 more communities in Southern California. These are in addition to the 18 communities where the service is already available under locally approved franchises.

Later this month, the company will announce the communities that will be first to get FiOS TV under the state-issued franchise. They will include many in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura and San Bernardino counties where construction of the nation's most advanced digital all-fiber-optic network is already complete. Verizon will announce more communities as workers finish the network construction in new areas.

Verizon was the first company to file an application for a state-issued video franchise under California's new, pro-consumer video franchise law, which took effect Jan. 1.

"Consumers are excited about FiOS services - the industry's best products in home entertainment," said Kathy Koelle, general manager for Verizon's West Coast region. "FiOS TV offers consumers a choice they've never had before: incredible picture and sound clarity, and innovative new services - all from a brand they trust and believe in."

California Congress of Seniors President Hank Lacayo said, "I am pleased that the commission has taken a leadership role in implementing this groundbreaking legislation authored by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez. Today's franchise approval will empower seniors as well as other consumers to choose the best entertainment service available."

FiOS TV offers a better-quality picture, more high-definition and on-demand programs, and more reliable service at competitive prices.  Verizon's FiOS TV Premier package delivers 200 all-digital channels - including a diverse array of multicultural programming - for $42.99 per month.  The package includes 21 high-definition (HD) channels, and five more HD channels are available with premium movie subscriptions. Under the basic package, viewers can choose from a video on demand library of 8,600 titles, and 60 percent of those selections are available without an additional charge.

FiOS TV features entertainment in a variety of languages in addition to its English-language programming. Spanish-speaking viewers can choose La Conexion, a package of 140 popular English and Spanish-language channels for $32.99 per month, or a Spanish-language package for $11.99 per month. Verizon also offers 17 international premium channels in languages such Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.

Verizon offers innovative features not available from other providers, such as Home Media DVR (digital video recorder) and FiOS TV Widgets. Home Media DVR, at $19.99 per month, allows the family to use one DVR to access recorded programming from multiple rooms in the house. Customers also can access photos and music on their PCs and play them on their TV.  FiOS TV Widgets is a free interactive feature that provides viewers with local weather and traffic information while they're watching their favorite shows.

Verizon is providing FiOS services on its fiber-to-the-premises network, which has industry-leading quality and reliability. Only this network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes and businesses.

Verizon contacts consumers when FiOS television service is available in their neighborhood. Consumers can check online at www.verizonfios.com or call 877-707-7066 to see if FiOS TV is already available.

Verizon, the first company to connect homes and businesses directly to fiber optics on a widespread scale, offers its FiOS voice and Internet service in more than 1,600 cities in parts of 16 states, and provides its FiOS TV service in more than 200 cities in parts of 10 states, including California.

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.


Verizon's state-issued franchise covers all or portions of the following communities:

Artesia, Bellflower, Calimesa, Cathedral City, Chino, Claremont, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Diamond Bar, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Hawaiian Gardens, Huntington Beach, Indian Wells, Indio, Industry, La Quinta, La Verne, Lakewood, Long Beach, Montclair, Moreno Valley, Norwalk, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Palos Verdes Estates, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Rancho Mirage, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Dimas, San Jacinto, Santa Fe Springs, Santa Monica, Seal Beach, Signal Hill, Stanton, Torrance, Upland, Victorville, Walnut, Westminster, Yucaipa

Note: FiOS TV will not be available in all communities immediately. Later this month, Verizon will announce the first wave of FiOS TV expansion under its state-issued franchise. Verizon will determine availability of FiOS TV in other communities according to the progress of fiber-network construction and other factors.