TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa City Council today voted for consumer choice and competition in the cable-TV market by awarding a far-reaching franchise to Verizon for its FiOS TV product, to be delivered via its new, all-fiber network.
The Tampa franchise brings competition and consumer choice to over 333,000 residents in the city and makes Florida one of Verizon's most competitive frontiers for FiOS services. In time, the Tampa franchise, combined with Verizon's franchises for Temple Terrace, Manatee County, Bradenton, Hillsborough County and Pasco County, will enable over 1.5 million residents in Verizon's Florida service territory to enjoy stepped-up competition and more consumer choice for video services in the region.
"Local governments in the heart of our region have decided that their residents deserve competition, choice, value and industry-leading fiber technology," said Alan Ciamporcero, Verizon's Southeast region president. "The Tampa City Council and members of the city's staff have worked diligently to craft a fair and reasonable franchise. We commend both for recognizing how technology has changed the market and for bringing an exciting alternative to Tampa residents, who are the real winners from today's decision."
Initially, Verizon will offer FiOS TV to 35,000 households in localities ranging from Sulphur Springs and Seminole Heights to Hyde Park and Palma Ceia. Service will be extended throughout the entire city within five years of the initial offering.
"We look forward to further building out our fiber network and bringing its benefits to all city residents as quickly as possible," Ciamporcero added.
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, which launched FiOS TV last September, also offers the service in parts of California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Texas and Virginia.
When Verizon reported its 2006 first-quarter earnings, it noted that it has achieved a 10 percent penetration of FiOS TV-eligible households in its Florida market overall. In Temple Terrace, market penetration is 16 percent since FiOS TV was introduced in that community in December.
Verizon's Tampa franchise will provide an unrivaled video service to city residents. Under the agreement, which covers 15 years, Verizon will provide FiOS TV to some Tampa residents shortly and will make TV available to all residents by 2011.
In addition, the agreement contains provisions for six public, educational and governmental access channels; a $1 million commitment to the city, plus ongoing support for public, education and government (PEG) channels and an institutional network on a per subscriber basis; cable service to over 170 public schools and to certain government buildings at no cost; and other important benefits including insurance, indemnification and enforcement protections.
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-optic network in 16 states, or more than half the states where it offers landline communications services.
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.verizon.net/fios and www.verizon.net/fiostv.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 53 million customers nationwide; one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks; and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving mass market and wholesale customers. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 250,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.