The age of TV competition has arrived in the Capital District.
Verizon begins offering FiOS TV service in parts of four communities in the region on Friday (March 25), bringing consumers and businesses an all-fiber-optic connection that provides more channels, more HD, more video on demand and faster Internet speeds than old-fashioned cable TV.
With the introduction of FiOS TV in the suburban Albany area, Verizon is offering its revolutionary FiOS triple play of TV, Internet and voice services to homes and businesses in parts of the towns of Bethlehem and Guilderland, and the villages of Colonie and Scotia.
Verizon expects to expand that availability as additional franchise agreements are approved. A franchise agreement from the city of Schenectady is currently being reviewed by the New York Public Service Commission, and a franchise awarded to Verizon Thursday night (March 24) by the Town of Colonie is now awaiting review by the commission.
Verizon delivers FiOS TV over the nation's largest digital, all-fiber network, offering more than 535 total channels in New York - including more than 130 high-definition (HD) channels in the Capital District market, more HD channels than the region's current monopoly cable provider, Time Warner.
"Consumers and small businesses in these communities at long last have a better choice for TV," said Tracey Edwards, Verizon president and general manager for Verizon's upstate New York region. "We've had great success in many other parts of the state. Now it's time to bring FiOS TV to this part of northeastern New York and provide customers in the region a choice that is truly different from the cable TV company.
"Our advanced 100 percent fiber-optic network was built for HD. With all-fiber connections running straight to their homes, viewers get both high-definition and standard TV that is eye-popping. And with Flex View and FiOS TV Online, we're offering more interactivity with more content on more screens," Edwards said.
Where FiOS TV is available, consumers now have the option to bundle FiOS TV service, FiOS Internet Service and the FiOS Digital Voice unlimited calling plan for as little as $99.99 a month for the first year.
Customers interested in FiOS TV can visit http://www.Verizon.com/FiOS or call 1-888-Get FiOS (438-3467) for more information.
FiOS is also available to small businesses, which can take advantage of the Solutions Bundle with FiOS TV, Internet and Unlimited Nationwide Calling, also at $99.99.* Included in the small-business bundle are Verizon websites powered by Intuit free for six months; free Google Apps for Verizon; Verizon Internet Security Suite and Online Backup; and discounts to nationally known brands like Office Depot, FedEx and more.
Business customers can learn more about business-grade FiOS services at http://smallbusiness.Verizon.com, or by calling 1-877-344-8896 for more information.
FiOS, Fiber Benefits Region
Jim Gerace, Verizon president for the New York region, said: "There are significant economic development and consumer benefits in Verizon's rollout of FiOS TV to these New York communities. Verizon has spent in excess of $1 billion in wireline network infrastructure across New York each year since 1995. This kind of investment and community involvement is in our DNA. We know that to be at the top of our industry - and we are - we need to invest in our network and in our customers and communities.
"Verizon's FiOS initiative, on top of a fully deployed fiber backbone network in the state, gives New York an advanced telecommunications network that enables widespread economic development, and leads to further job creation in industries benefiting from state-of-the-art broadband technology."
FiOS TV Service Highlights
FiOS TV customers receive many added benefits that are included in their service at no additional cost. For example, FiOS TV includes 19,000 monthly video-on-demand titles (70 percent of which are free), including 3,300 in HD, and next-generation interactive services including an advanced interactive media guide; social networking, news and entertainment widgets from Twitter, Facebook and more; DVR management via broadband or cell phone; and more.
In addition, FiOS TV customers have online access to thousands of movie titles and TV shows through Verizon's Flex View and FiOS TV Online services. Flex View allows FiOS TV customers to rent or purchase movie titles and watch them on their TV, online and on a growing number of mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. FiOS TV Online offers online access to a variety of programming from HBO, Cinemax, EPIX, TBS, TNT, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and MTV as well as live streaming from CNN and ESPN.
FiOS TV also offers a multi-room DVR that allows customers to view, record, pause and rewind programming on up to three TVs in the home at the same time. New multi-room DVR boxes the company is providing have 500 gigabytes of hard-drive capacity, with the ability to store more than three times more programming than the previous DVR offered with FiOS and approximately 60 hours of HD-specific programming.
Customers can access their FiOS TV DVRs remotely from a PC or select mobile devices with the FiOS TV Mobile Remote app, and change channels; manage parental controls; and pause, rewind and fast forward or record a TV show. All FiOS TV customers also have access to Media Manager, which lets them access personal videos, photos and music from their home computer on their TV.
FiOS TV is delivered over Verizon's all-fiber-optic network, which 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. This network also offers FiOS Internet Service, which delivers downstream speeds of up to 150 Mbps (megabits per second) and upstream speeds of up to 35 Mbps, as well as high-quality voice services.
Free Verizon Wi-Fi access at thousands of locations across the U.S. is available for FiOS Internet customers with up-to-20 Mbps or faster packages. Free Wi-Fi hot spot locations include hotels, airports, restaurants, coffee shops, retailers and other public locations across the U.S. For a list of hot spot locations, visit www.verizon.com/hotspots.
The value of FiOS TV extends to installation and customer support. Specially trained Verizon technicians will install the service and acquaint subscribers with FiOS TV features and services. Verizon provides 24/7 technical assistance by phone from its Fiber Solutions Centers.
FiOS services have received accolades from leading consumer and technical publications and organizations including J.D. Power and Associates, the American Customer Satisfaction Index and PCmag.com.
* Through July 16, 2011
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.