PORT RICHEY, Fla. - This city is the tenth jurisdiction in Florida to endorse consumer choice and competition in the cable-TV market, as the result of a City Council vote Tuesday night (Nov. 28) 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 will bring competition and consumer choice to over 3,000 residents in the city, makes Florida one of Verizon's most competitive frontiers for FiOS services. As the fiber network is built, the Port Richey franchise -- combined with Verizon's franchises for Temple Terrace, Tampa, Oldsmar, Manatee County, Bradenton, Palmetto, and Sarasota, Hillsborough and Pasco counties -- 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.
"The Port Richey franchise helps Verizon fill in an important gap in the western section of our service territory for FiOS TV in Pasco County," said Alan Ciamporcero, Verizon's Southeast region president. "We are hopeful the city of Zephyrhills will follow suit soon and that negotiations currently under way in New Port Richey will also result in a franchise there.
"Should these additional negotiations be successful, we will have only one challenge left before offering the majority of our Pasco County service territory FiOS TV and Internet - fully deploying the fiber network," continued Ciamporcero. "And since that construction work proceeds on a daily basis, it will only be a matter of time before Verizon brings competition, choice, value and industry-leading fiber technology to the vast majority of Pasco County's residents, who are the real winners from today's decision."
Verizon will offer FiOS TV to residents in the city sometime in 2007 and extend service throughout the city within three years of the initial offering. The franchise does not include the city of New Port Richey.
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 34,000 households in the Lutz, Land O Lakes, Keystone and Wesley Chapel areas of Pasco County. 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 with Port Richey contains provisions for:
- Deployment of cable service throughout the initial franchise area no later than 36 months after the initial offering.
- Carriage of the Pasco County governmental and educational access channels.
- 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.