NEW YORK - Customer growth accelerated for Verizon FiOS services in the third quarter 2008 as the company's telecommunications group introduced new features and made the services available to more customers.
FiOS remains the center of Verizon's telecom consumer strategy and, in a tough economy, drove a 2.1 percent increase in consumer revenues in legacy telecom markets year over year.
"We listened to customers and then added the features and Internet speeds that they've asked for - and that gives us a huge edge over cable service," said Virginia Ruesterholz, president of Verizon's telecom group. "Customers are responding by signing up with Verizon and enjoying the kind of personalized entertainment experience that they can't get anywhere else."
Verizon is the only major U.S. telecom company building an advanced all-digital fiber-optic network on a mass scale all the way to customers' homes. The company offers its FiOS Internet service on its all-fiber network in parts of 16 states and its FiOS TV service in parts of 14 states.
During the past few months, Verizon accomplished the following:
- Launched FiOS TV in four new markets - New York City, Washington state, Harrisburg, Pa., and western New York. Overall, Verizon made FiOS TV service available for sale to a record 1.2 million additional premises in the quarter, bringing the total to 8.2 million.
- Added 233,000 net new FiOS TV customers, compared with 176,000 in the second quarter 2008. The company has 1.6 million FiOS TV customers, compared with more than 700,000 FiOS TV customers at the end of third-quarter 2007.
- Increased FiOS TV sales penetration (sales as a percentage of potential customers) to 19.7 percent, compared with 15.2 percent in last year's third quarter.
- Continued to launch high-definition channels and now offers more HD than cable in each FiOS TV market, with 100 HD channels already available in several regions.
- Began adding new features that take advantage of the fiber network's interactive capabilities including streaming of recorded HD video with Verizon's Home Media DVR; new free informational widgets; purchasing power via remote control; and a feature that allows customers to pause live programming, change channels, and then return to the paused program and pick up watching right where they left off.
- Continued to deploy FiOS Internet service, with download speeds of up to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps available in all FiOS markets. Competitors can't match this combination of download and upload speeds that FiOS Internet offers.
- Added 225,000 net new FiOS Internet customers, compared with 187,000 in the second quarter 2008. The company has 2.2 million FiOS Internet customers, compared with 1.3 million FiOS Internet customers at the end of third-quarter 2007.
- Increased FiOS Internet sales penetration to 24.2 percent, compared with 20.0 percent in last year's third quarter. FiOS Internet is available for sale to nearly 9.1 million premises.
- Offered its broadband customers access to free parental controls and launched a Parental Control Center offering tips and tools for parents on how to protect their children when they're online.
- Announced that it has completed almost two-thirds of its FiOS build-out in which the company expects to pass 18 million homes and business with fiber through 2010. At the end of the third quarter 2008, Verizon's broadband fiber-to-the-premises network passed 11.9 million premises.
- Announced that fiber-to-the-home now covers more than one-third of Verizon's wireline households and that nearly 70 percent of these homes passed can buy Verizon's video service.
- Continued building its all-fiber-optic network using gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technology, the second generation of optical networking equipment. The nearly 200 switching centers in 12 states where GPON is being deployed today will grow to 400 centers by the end of 2009. More than 40 percent of homes passed by fiber will be served by GPON technology by the end of next year, rising to 50 percent by 2010.
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 nearly 71 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 employs a diverse workforce of more than 228,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.