Richmond, Va., Residents to See More Choice, Competition as Verizon Obtains Cable Franchise for City

RICHMOND, Va. - More residents of Richmond are a step closer to having choice for their cable television services, thanks to a vote by the Richmond City Council Monday night (Feb. 26) authorizing Verizon to offer its fiber-optic-powered FiOS TV. 

The cable franchise covers approximately 86,000 households in Virginia's capital city.  Verizon currently offers FiOS TV to more than 20,000 households in Richmond and will make the service available to all households in its initial service area in the city within three years.  The company will offer FiOS TV to at least 80 percent of city residents over the next 10 years.

Verizon began offering FiOS TV in Richmond last December under the rules for an "ordinance franchise," established by a new law passed last year to accelerate choice and competition for cable television services.  The negotiated franchise approved by the City Council will be retroactive to Dec. 22, 2006. 

Verizon is providing FiOS services on the nation's most advanced digital, all-fiber-optic network.  Only Verizon's FiOS network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes.

"It's clear from the tremendous demand for FiOS TV that Virginians want choice and competition for their TV service," said Robert W. Woltz Jr., president of Verizon Virginia.  "FiOS TV offers an innovative, reliable and competitive alternative to the incumbent cable provider - powered by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network. 

"Richmond residents are saying 'yes' to FiOS TV in rapidly growing numbers, and we hope to increase those numbers even more as we build out our all-fiber network in the city."

Richmond joins 17 other Virginia municipalities, including neighboring Henrico County, that have awarded franchises to Verizon.  The company also has begun franchise negotiations with Chesterfield County officials.

In addition to Virginia, Verizon currently offers FiOS TV in parts of nine other states: California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. 

FiOS TV offers a broad collection of all-digital programming, 20 or more high-definition channels, video on demand and more.  It is delivered over Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises network, which 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.  

In addition to FiOS TV, Verizon's fiber network also allows the company to offer consumers and businesses crystal-clear voice service and high-speed FiOS Internet Service at download speeds of up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds up to 5 Mbps.*   FiOS Internet Service currently is available to many consumers and small businesses in Richmond and surrounding Chesterfield and Henrico counties.

* 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 59 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which operates one of the most expansive wholly owned global IP networks, and Verizon Telecom, which is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of approximately 242,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.