WARWICK, R.I. - With the click of a remote control and the departure of a caravan of Verizon service trucks on their way to installation appointments, competition for cable TV service arrived in Rhode Island Monday (June 18).
Verizon launched FiOS TV in the state, making a broad range of programming choices and superior picture quality available to some 80,000 households in seven inaugural communities.
The event marks the 11th state where Verizon is offering FiOS TV. The service is now available to more than 3 million homes in the United States.
At a news conference at Verizon's Jefferson Boulevard garage, Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts pressed the button on a remote control, turning on FiOS TV in the Ocean State.
Shortly thereafter, in an unusual ribbon-cutting ceremony, a caravan of FiOS-branded Verizon trucks broke through a ribbon, on their way to the first installation appointments in Rhode Island for FiOS TV.
"In a time when Rhode Island is competing regionally, nationally and internationally to increase investment and grow good-paying jobs, it is encouraging to see a new state-of-the-art fiber-optic network right here in our state," said Roberts. "Technology is changing the world, and Rhode Island must be committed to the latest in technological advances."
Donna Cupelo, Verizon's region president in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, hosted the event. Also attending were Warwick Mayor Scott Avedesian, Verizon New England Senior Vice President and General Manager Ellen Corcoran, and IBEW Local 2323 Business Manager Bill McGowan.
"Today is a great day for Rhode Island and Verizon," said Cupelo. "For the first time, residents in these communities will have a choice in how they get their TV service. Verizon's introduction of FiOS TV breaks down the walls of the legacy TV industry by bringing more choices, better picture, better value and more entertainment. And it's delivered through an unparalleled fiber-optic network that's designed for the future, but being built by Verizon today."
McGowan said the expansion of FiOS TV into Rhode Island bodes well for the state's economy and has resulted in more jobs. "This is a great day for labor in Rhode Island," he said. "We look forward to continued job growth for our members as Verizon continues to build its fiber network throughout Rhode Island."
The company's new television service is being offered in Coventry, East Greenwich, Exeter, North Kingstown, Warwick, West Greenwich and West Warwick, the seven communities that constitute what is called Service Area 6.
FiOS TV is the only TV service delivered over the nation's most advanced all-fiber network directly connecting to millions of individual homes and businesses. To date, Verizon has deployed more than 7 million feet of fiber in its fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) network in Rhode Island.
Verizon also plans to offer FiOS TV later this year to an estimated 158,000 more households in Rhode Island's service areas 2, 3 and 8, which cover Charlestown, Cranston, Foster, Hopkinton, Johnston, Narragansett, North Providence, Providence, Richmond, Scituate, South Kingstown and Westerly.
"FiOS TV gives Rhode Island consumers an outstanding, superior alternative for their video entertainment," said Corcoran, "Rhode Island customers who liked what FiOS did for their Internet connection will love what it does for their TV. We've harnessed the speed and capacity of fiber-based broadband with the power of broadcast to create a revolutionary, new entertainment experience."
Rhode Island residents who are FiOS TV-eligible now have the option to trim their monthly bills by bundling FiOS TV service, FiOS Internet service and the Verizon Freedom Essentials unlimited calling plan, all for as low as $94.99 a month, with no price increase for two years.
Service highlights include:
- FiOS TV Premier, the lead offer, delivers more than 200 all-digital channels for $42.99 per month.
- A total of 27 high-definition channels with extraordinary clarity and theater-quality sound.
- A library of more than 8,600 on-demand titles.
- The choice of 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.
- Channels grouped by genres such as entertainment, sports, news, shopping, movies and family, making it easy for audiences to find their favorite programming.
- An easy-to-use interactive programming guide that integrates HD programming, On Demand content and the digital video recorder along with broadcast television into a seamless user experience.
- The option of Home Media DVR, featuring a multi-room DVR that enables up to three simultaneous viewings of recorded programs without requiring customers to set up a complex home network or buy extra equipment. The recorder is bundled with Media Manager, a new feature that lets customers easily access photos and music from their personal computer and play them on their entertainment center where they look and sound the best.
- FiOS TV Widgets, a free interactive feature that provides local weather and traffic information.
Programming choices for Hispanic, African-American, Asian, Russian and other multicultural audiences are available in every market. Because FiOS TV has so much capacity, it is an outlet for emerging and independent networks to showcase their diverse programming
Information on packages and prices is available at www.verizon.net/fiostv. Rhode Island customers also can call 1-800-880-2943 to see if they qualify to order FiOS TV.
Verizon research indicates 92 percent of Rhode Island residents favor more competition and choice for video services. Independent studies have shown that competition in the video market brings enormous benefits to consumers in the form of reduced prices, better packages and improved service.
FiOS TV is designed to be a formidable competitor to cable and satellite. Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, the largest of its kind in the country, is currently under construction in more than half the states where the company offers landline communications services.
The network brings the power and capacity of fiber optics directly into people's homes and has industry-leading quality and reliability. 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 (megabits per second) and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps as well as high-quality voice services.
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 24x7 technical assistance by phone from its Fiber Solutions Centers in Providence, R.I., and other cities.
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 60.7 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.