Portions of North Port, Florida, Join Growing FiOS Triple-Play Availability in Sarasota County

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nearly 1,200 households in North Port can now order the fastest Internet access available and sparklingly clear TV pictures just in time for football season as Verizon  today announced the first availability of its FiOS fiber-powered voice, Internet and TV offerings  in  the area.  The triple-play bundles are delivered over Verizon's all-fiber network, directly to people's homes and businesses.

As Verizon completes the necessary construction and engineering activities, it expects to extend FiOS service by year-end to 5,000 more households for a total of 6,200 households in the community.

While FiOS has been available to other areas in Sarasota County, including the city of Venice, this latest announcement marks the first expansion into other areas of south county and brings the total number of households with FiOS availability in Sarasota County to nearly 67,000.

"Today we are plugging an important gap in our FiOS service area for Sarasota County," said Suri Surinder, Verizon's senior vice president and general manager for the Southeast region.  "North Port residents will now have an exciting option for their home telecommunications needs:  They can order FiOS, the most advanced and revolutionary all-fiber service available anywhere."

To date, Verizon has deployed nearly 7 million feet of fiber in Sarasota County and more than 53 million feet in the company's Florida service territory.   More than 520,000 households in Hillsborough, Pasco, Sarasota, Manatee and northern Pinellas counties can now order one or more of the FiOS services.

FiOS Internet was recently named to the top five of PC World Magazine's 100 Best Products of 2007 - a roster of what the magazine called "the finest products and services of the past 12 months" - "based on exemplary design, features, performance and innovation."  Readers of PC World and Computerworld magazines recently ranked FiOS Internet No. 1, with top scores across the board in overall satisfaction, connection reliability, download and upload speeds, customer service, and technical support.  Additionally, Verizon is the only major telecom company whose network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes.

Consumers can check online at www.verizon.com/fiostv to see if FiOS TV is already available in their area, or to request that Verizon contact them when FiOS TV is available.  To order FiOS TV, consumers can call their local Verizon sales office or 1-877-4-FIOS-TV (1-877-434-6788)

Service Highlights

Verizon's FiOS TV Premier package delivers more than 200 all-digital channels for $42.99 per month.  All Tampa Bay-area customers have access to 29 high-definition (HD) channels and more than 8,600 on-demand titles, 60 percent of which are free.  Verizon offers three set-top boxes: standard definition for $4.99 per month; high definition, which includes HD channels, for $9.99 per month; and a dual-tuner, HD-capable digital video recorder for $12.99 per month.

Verizon also 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, has a multi-room DVR feature enabling up to three simultaneous viewings of recorded programs without requiring customers to set up a complex home network or buy extra equipment.  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.

Currently, Verizon is also offering triple- and double-play bundles built around its FiOS service.  The lineup for Verizon FiOS bundles in Florida is:

Triple play

  • 10/2 Mbps (megabits per second) FiOS Internet service, FiOS TV Premier, Freedom Essentials voice and one standard set-top box - $99.99 per month.

Double plays

  • 10/2 Mbps FiOS Internet service and Freedom Essentials voice - $64.99 per month.

  • FiOS TV Premier plus one set-top box and Freedom Essentials voice - $69.99 per month.

(All prices are for two-year contracts.)

"Our all-fiber-optic network delivers a superior customer experience today and has an abundance of bandwidth for the exciting services we'll offer in the future," said Surinder.  "We also believe our bundled services offer both a great price and great value right now." 

Verizon will bring FiOS TV in 2007 and beyond to additional communities in the six-county west central Florida area. 

Verizon has already received approval for its initial franchise application with the state.  It was filed under the Consumer Choice Act of 2007 and enables the company to serve 77,000 households where it previously did not have franchise rights.  Future additions to this application will speed approvals in additional cities and counties where Verizon currently does not have a franchise.  North Port is an example of a city where a franchise was not in place previously but will now be added to Verizon's original state application.

In addition to Florida, Verizon currently offers FiOS TV in parts of California, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia. 

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.  It also delivers Internet download speeds of up to 50 Mbps  and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps as well as high-quality voice service.*

The value of FiOS TV extends to the installation and customer support.  Specially trained Verizon technicians will install the service and acquaint subscribers with FiOS TV features and services.  Verizon is waiving the installation fee for up to three existing TV outlets, and there is no charge to install a needed optical network terminal at the subscriber's home.  Charges for other installation services, such as additional outlets, may apply.  Verizon provides 24 x 7 technical assistance by phone from its specialized Fiber Solutions Centers.

* 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 62 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 has a diverse workforce of more than 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.