Verizon Begins Offering TV Service, More Provider Choice to Maryland's Anne Arundel County Residents

BALTIMORE - Verizon today began offering its FiOS TV service to consumers in Anne Arundel County, providing amazingly sharp pictures and sound and a true choice for subscription television and On Demand programming via the company's all-digital, fiber-optic network.

Verizon is the only company building a large-scale, all-digital fiber-optic communications network directly to customers' homes across the country.

"This is great news for consumers in Anne Arundel County who have waited a long time to see even greater competition between cable-TV providers," said William R. Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland. "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 broadband with the power of broadcast to create a revolutionary, new entertainment experience."

Verizon is now taking orders for FiOS TV in parts of the following county locations: Arden on the Severn, Arnold, Arundel Beach, Beverly Beach, Cape Arthur, Cape St. John, Chartwell, Chesapeake Oaks, Crofton, Crofton Meadows, Crofton Park, Crownsville, Davidsonville, Elmhurst, Epping Forest, Glen Burnie, Glen Burnie Heights, Herald Harbor, Heritage Harbor, Iglehart, Indian Landing, Londontowne, Magothy, Mago Vista Beach, Millersville, Old Mill, Palisades on the Severn, Parole, Reidel Estates, Riva, Riva Farms, Rolling Knolls, Saddle Ridge, Selby on the Bay, Severn, Sherwood Forest, Shipley's Choice, Shoreham Beach, South River Colony, South River Heights, St. Margarets, Sunrise Beach, Tidewater Colony, Triton Beach, Walden, Wilelinor Estates and Woodland Beach.

Verizon obtained a video franchise in Anne Arundel County in July. The company offers FiOS TV in Howard County and Bowie, and is negotiating a video franchise with Laurel and several other Maryland municipalities. Currently, Verizon has video franchises covering approximately 3 million households in nine states and more than 100 franchise areas. As the fiber network is fully deployed in franchise areas, Verizon will provide these consumers with the opportunity to choose FiOS TV. In addition to Maryland, Verizon currently offers the service in parts of California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Texas and Virginia.

Service highlights include:

  • A lead offer with more than 180 digital video and music channels for $39.95. With an annual savings agreement, customers can choose either $5 off the monthly Movie Package price or waive the monthly standard set-top box fee of $3.95.

  • More than 20 high-definition (HD) channels in the Maryland market, with extraordinary clarity and theater-quality sound.

  • More than 2,500 On Demand titles available to customers now, increasing to over 3,500 titles in the next several months.

  • 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.

  • A dual-tuner, HD-capable DVR that gives customers the freedom to pause and rewind live TV, record one show while watching another, and fast forward to their favorite part of the program - all without a VCR, tapes or DVDs.

  • Home Media DVR that has a multi-room DVR feature enabling up to three simultaneous viewings of programs recorded by the device without requiring customers to set up a complex home network or buy extra equipment. Customers can access photos and music on their PCs and play them on their TVs. Home Media DVR is $19.95 per month, only $7 more than the monthly fee for the FiOS TV DVR. Customers also need a $3.95-per-month standard-definition set-top box for each TV that will receive recorded video from the media hub.

  • FiOS TV Widgets, a free interactive feature that provides local weather and traffic information.

Information on packages and prices is available at www.verizon.net/fiostv. Anne Arundel County customers can call their local Verizon sales office or 1-800-880-2943 to see if they are able to order FiOS TV.

Early response to the television, data and voice offerings in the region has been strong. When Verizon reported its 2006 second-quarter earnings, it noted that in markets where the company has been selling FiOS TV for at least six months, penetration levels already average 10 percent.

Delivered over Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, FiOS TV is a formidable competitor to cable and satellite. The Verizon 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.

Since Verizon began building its fiber-optic network in Maryland, the company has placed more than 23.6 million feet of fiber and created hundreds of new full-time positions to build and support the network and FiOS services in the state. 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 service.*

Programming choices for Hispanic, African-American, Asian, Russian and other multicultural audiences are available in every market. Since FiOS TV has so much capacity, it is an outlet for emerging and independent networks to showcase their diverse programming.

In addition, sports fans subscribing to FiOS TV Premier, the lead Verizon FiOS TV offer, can follow regional teams and events through agreements Verizon has reached with Comcast Sports Net - Mid-Atlantic and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN). Featured teams on Comcast Sports Net - Mid-Atlantic include the Capitals, DC United, Mystics, Orioles, Ravens, Redskins and Wizards, as well as NCAA games. MASN features Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles games.

Service and Package Details

FiOS TV subscribers can choose from three simple-to-understand service offerings, each with built-in choice and value. They then can choose from packages and premium channels with programming that meets their special interests. Verizon offers three set-top boxes: standard definition for $3.95 per month; high definition, which includes HD channels, for $9.95 per month; and a dual-tuner, HD-capable digital video recorder for $12.95 per month.

The services include:

  • FiOS TV Premier, Verizon's lead, delivers more than 180 digital video and music channels for $39.95 as a stand-alone service or $34.95 a month with Verizon FiOS Internet Service or a qualifying voice plan. This tier includes access to On Demand content and requires a set-top box. High-definition channels are included in this tier at no extra charge, and customers must have an HD set-top box and an HD-ready TV to view them.

  • La Conexión, an alternative to FiOS TV Premier service designed for bilingual consumers who enjoy TV programs in both English and Spanish, for $27.95 per month with Verizon FiOS Internet Service or a qualifying voice plan. La Conexión is also available as a stand-alone service for $32.95 per month. The package includes nearly 140 channels with English and Spanish-language programming and access to On Demand programming. This service requires a set-top box. High-definition channels are included in this tier at no extra charge, and customers must have an HD set-top box and an HD-ready TV to view them.

  • Verizon also offers FiOS TV Local, with access to local and community channels for $12.95 per month.

Consumers with a passion for movies can add the Movie Package with 44 channels of Starz, Encore, Showtime The Movie Channel, Sundance and Flix, as well as 255 titles of On Demand programming, for a regular price of $11.95 a month. Sports enthusiasts can add a 15-channel sports package for $5.95 a month. Or, both packages can be purchased for $14.95 a month. In addition to the Movie Package, customers with a set-top box can order new, On Demand movie releases for $3.95 each or choose from a selection of movie library titles for $2.95 each.

For wrestling fans, Verizon offers World Wrestling Entertainment's WWE 24/7, a subscription On Demand service, for $7.95 a month. Karaoke fans can sing along at home with a subscription to the Karaoke package for $7.95 a month.

Verizon also offers 14 HBO channels and 12 Cinemax channels as premium services, with each set of channels available for $14.95. The price includes access to each channel's subscription On Demand library. Subscribers who want both HBO and Cinemax will pay $24.95 per month.

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 specialized Fiber Solutions Centers.

*NOTE: actual (throughput) speeds will vary.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a 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 55 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. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 252,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.