KELLER, Texas - The future of television arrived today in a blaze of fiber-optic light, as Verizon unveiled Verizon FiOS TV to residents of this city 30 miles west of Dallas. Verizon will begin taking customer orders for FiOS TV today in Keller, and make it available in communities across Verizon's footprint in the future.
"This is not cable TV. This is not satellite. This is FiOS TV," said Bob Ingalls, president of Verizon's Retail Markets Group. "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."
FiOS TV is designed to compete with cable and satellite and win. 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. Verizon's network design includes backup facilities not common to traditional cable systems, such as duplicate "head ends" where the TV service receives national programming.
Service highlights include:
- A broad collection of all-digital programming and compelling consumer choice - with more than 330 total channels at launch and more on the way.
- A lead offer with more than 180 digital video and music channels, for $39.95 a month.
- More than 20 high-definition channels, with extraordinary clarity and theater-quality sound.
- Nearly 600 video-on-demand titles available to customers now, with 1,800 by year-end.
- A wide range of local and special-interest channels not found on most cable and satellite systems.
- 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, video-on-demand and the digital video recorder along with broadcast television into a seamless user experience.
Verizon has secured the necessary programming rights to launch its FiOS TV service in Keller today.
Verizon provides FiOS TV over the largest fiber-to-the-premises network in the country, delivering the power and capacity of fiber optics directly into people's homes. A year ago, the company launched FiOS Internet Service in Keller, where today about 30 percent of eligible households have purchased the high-speed service. (More information about FiOS TV and fiber optics is available in Verizon's online News Center at www.verizon.com/news.)
With today's announcement, Verizon concludes its successful trial of FiOS TV with employees and Keller residents. Following the service rollout in Keller, Verizon will offer FiOS TV to additional households in Wylie, Sachse and Westlake, Texas, later this year. Those cities negotiated video franchises prior to the enactment of the state's new franchise law. Verizon will then expand FiOS TV to cities in Florida, Virginia and California, where it has already obtained video franchises. In addition to Wylie, Sachse and Westlake, Verizon is planning FiOS TV deployment in other Texas communities, and it will offer the service in additional markets as it gets government approval to do so.
"FiOS TV will connect with customers because it offers them choice, value and simplicity," Ingalls said. "We have a great offer today, but it will get even better as we add programming and interactive services. Our employees and customers helped us improve the service during trials this summer, and we'll continue to upgrade based on what we learn from our customers."
FiOS TV subscribers will enjoy 100 percent digital programming, as well as access to a large selection of video-on-demand content. Today's cable operators typically have to upsell customers from analog to digital-tier packages to make more sophisticated services like video-on-demand and high-definition programming available, if they offer those services. To simplify customer choice, FiOS TV packages and prices will be the same everywhere, with only the local and community channels varying by market.
FiOS TV subscribers can choose from three simple-to-understand service offerings, each with built-in choice and value. They can then 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 digital video recorder set-top box with HD channels for $12.95 per month.
The services include:
- Basic, with access to 15-35 local broadcast, weather and community channels, as well as video-on-demand, for $12.95 per month. The service is digital with a set-top box. Basic is also available as an analog service that does not require a set-top box for viewing.
- Expanded Basic, Verizon's lead offer, delivers more than 180 video and music channels for $39.95 a month. This tier includes access to 600 on-demand titles now, with 1,800 by year end. This service requires a standard-definition set-top box or a high-definition set-top box for HD channels.
- La Conexión, a tier designed for bilingual consumers who enjoy TV programs in English and Spanish, for $32.95 per month. The package includes nearly 140 channels with English- and Spanish-language programming and access to nearly 600 on-demand titles.
This service requires a standard-definition set-top box or a high-definition set-top box for HD channels.
Consumers with a passion for sports or movies can add a 15-channel sports package for $5.95 a month, and a movie package, with 45 channels of Starz, Encore, Showtime and The Movie Channel, for $11.95 a month. Or, they can buy both for $14.95 a month. Verizon also will offer 14 HBO channels and 12 Cinemax channels as premium services, with each set of channels available for $14.95. Subscribers who want both HBO and Cinemax will pay $24.95 per month.
Programming choices for African-American, Asian, Russian and other multicultural and ethnic audiences will be available in every market. Because FiOS TV has so much capacity, it will also be an outlet for emerging and independent networks to showcase their diverse programming.
FiOS TV will also offer thousands of hours of on-demand programming, including hundreds of titles of free video-on-demand programs across topics such as sports, news, information and education, home and leisure, family, children's shows and movies. Customers can order new movie releases for $3.95 each and selections from a movie library for $2.95 each.
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 Dallas and other cities.
With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 214,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.