Palmetto Grants the Latest Verizon FiOS TV Franchise in Florida

PALMETTO, Fla. -- The city of Palmetto is the ninth jurisdiction in Florida to endorse consumer choice and competition in the cable-TV market, as the City Commission voted Monday (Nov. 20) to award a far-reaching franchise to Verizon for its FiOS TV product, to be delivered via its new, digital all-fiber network. 

The franchise, which enables Verizon to offer FiOS TV to more than 13,000 residents in the city, makes Florida one of Verizon's most competitive frontiers for FiOS services.  As the fiber network is built, the Palmetto franchise -- combined with Verizon's franchises for Temple Terrace, Tampa, Oldsmar, Manatee County, Bradenton, Sarasota County, Hillsborough County and Pasco County -- will enable over 1.8 million residents in Verizon's Florida service territory to enjoy stepped-up competition and more consumer choice for video services in the region.

"We are very happy with the Palmetto City Commission's decision and look forward to the opportunity to bring competition and choice to the city's residents," said Alan Ciamporcero, Verizon's Southeast region president.  "We are filling in an important part of the county with this franchise, providing greater coverage in the market for our FiOS services.

"We will be busy throughout the next year and thereafter constructing the fiber network that will deliver our industry-leading FiOS services to Palmetto residents as soon as possible and for many years to come," Ciamporcero said. 

Verizon will begin offering FiOS TV in the city sometime in 2007 and extend the service throughout the city within three years of the initial offering.  The franchise does not include the cities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach and Longboat Key.

As the fiber network is completed, residents will enjoy FiOS broadband products that deliver very fast data speeds ranging from up to 5 Mbps to up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second).  Verizon currently offers FiOS TV service to over 40,000 households in Manatee County and Bradenton.  Verizon, which launched FiOS TV in September 2005, also offers the service in parts of California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Texas and Virginia.   

When Verizon reported its 2006 third-quarter earnings, the company noted that it has a total of 117,000 FiOS TV customers nationally and has achieved an average of a 10 percent penetration of FiOS TV-eligible households in its Florida market overall. 

The 15-year agreement contains provisions for

  • Deployment of cable service throughout the initial franchise area no later than 36 months after the service date.  

  • Educational access channel and governmental programming support. 

  • Extensive customer service requirements.

  • Liability insurance and indemnification requirements. 

Verizon's FiOS TV delivers hundreds of digital video and music channels, high-definition programming, video-on-demand content, a robust interactive programming guide and other customer-friendly features. Verizon is constructing its fiber-to-the premises (FTTP) network in 16 states, or more than half the states where it offers landline communications services.  Only Verizon's FTTP network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes and businesses.

Customers can buy FiOS TV as a stand-alone service or packaged with voice and FiOS high-speed data services, which are already available in some areas. For information on Verizon's FiOS Internet Service and FiOS TV offerings, visit www.Verizonfios.com and www.Verizonfios.com/tv.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a New York-based Dow 30 company, 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 nearly 57 million customers nationwide.  Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks.  Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.