Verizon FiOS TV Premieres in Four South-Central Pennsylvania Counties

HARRISBURG, Pa. - There's finally a home-entertainment choice that's big enough for south-central Pennsylvania consumers as Verizon begins offering FiOS TV service in seven communities in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon and York counties.

"Consumers in these communities at long last have a better choice for TV," said Gale Y. Given, president of Verizon Pennsylvania.  "We've had great success in cities and towns from California to Texas, from Florida to Massachusetts, and from Bethel Park to Doylestown right here in the Keystone State.  Now it's time to bring Verizon FiOS TV to south-central Pennsylvania in a really big way and provide consumers here with the opportunity to be liberated from their old-fashioned cable TV company."

As part of this launch, Verizon will offer 88 high-definition (HD) channels to consumers in the market, with plans to offer 100 HD channels by year-end. 

"Our advanced fiber-optic network was built for HD, and right from the start we're offering more HD channels in this market than Comcast," said Given.  "With all-fiber connections running straight to their homes and apartments, viewers get both standard- and high-definition TV that is eye-popping and jaw-dropping."

Among the first communities to get Verizon's FiOS TV service in the four counties are parts of Camp Hill Borough, Derry Township, Fairview Township, Hampden Township, Palmyra Borough, South Londonderry Township and Swatara Township.  The service will be available in several additional area communities within the next few weeks, and the company plans to make FiOS TV available to about 85,000 homes and businesses in the region by the end of October.

To make the FiOS TV offer even sweeter, new residential customers who subscribe to FiOS TV by Oct. 31 will receive their choice of a year's free use of either an HD digital video recorder (DVR) or an HD Home Media DVR. Verizon is also offering new FiOS TV customers, or existing customers who upgrade to a bundled package, one free month of HBO and Cinemax, which includes the latest hit movies, documentaries and original programming from more than 25 premium channels and access to hundreds of titles on video-on-demand (VOD).  New customers who take advantage of this offer will save between $200 and $260 the first year, depending upon the DVR customers choose.

South-central Pennsylvania consumers can check online at www.verizon.com/fiostv  for more information or to request that Verizon contact them when FiOS services become available.  Consumers also can call their local Verizon sales office or 888-438-3467

Small and medium-sized businesses interested in business-grade FiOS services can visit www.verizon.com/bizfiostv or call 877-346-7249 for more information.

Nationally, FiOS Internet is available in parts of 16 states, and FiOS TV is offered to 7 million consumers and businesses in parts of 14 states.

Verizon must obtain a franchise authorizing it to offer cable TV service before it can offer FiOS TV in a community.  To date, Verizon has obtained 21 franchises in the south-central Pennsylvania area - including 19 from communities that are members of the Capital Region Council of Governments.  The steering committee of the Council recently endorsed a master cable franchise agreement with Verizon, and member communities are voting on individual agreements based on the master agreement.

Over the past several weeks, Verizon has started direct marketing and local advertising in the initial launch neighborhoods to enable consumers to pre-order the FiOS TV service.

"The response from consumers, so far, has been nothing short of amazing," said James V. O'Rourke, Verizon senior vice president of customer operations for Pennsylvania and Delaware.   "These advance orders soared well above our expectations."

FiOS TV Service Highlights

Verizon FiOS TV highlights include:

  • Nearly 500 all-digital channels grouped by genres such as entertainment, sports, news, marketplace, movies and family, making it easy for audiences to find their favorite programming.

  • Availability of 88 high-definition channels in the local market, with extraordinary clarity and theater-quality sound.  Verizon plans to offer 100 HD channels by year-end. 

  • A library of more than 11,000 VOD titles each month, 70 percent of which are free. The VOD library also includes an increasing number of HD titles. By year-end, Verizon plans to offer 1,000 HD VOD titles each month.

  • An innovative interactive media guide (IMG) that helps customers quickly and easily find and enjoy content from TV listings, video-on-demand catalogs and the DVR as well as personal music and photos from a home network.  Features of the IMG include:

    • Multi-Room DVR - Verizon's Home Media DVR allows customers to stream recorded HD and standard-definition (SD) programs to up to six other TV sets throughout the home equipped with HD set-top boxes.  This includes the ability to watch three separately recorded shows on three TV sets at the same time, plus pause recorded programming in one room and continue watching in another.

    • Widgets - Customers have one-touch, on-demand access to widgets that provide local traffic and weather reports, daily local and national news headlines, daily national sports headlines, community news and daily horoscopes shown on TV screens.

    • Free casual games - With the remote control and an HD set-top box, customers can access chess, solitaire and wordplay.

    • "What's Hot on FiOS TV" - Features information on the most popular programs currently being broadcast in the region and the most popular VOD titles.

    • "Wait for Me" - Customers can pause live programming, change channels, and then return to the paused program and pick up where they left off. 

    • Channel sorting options - Customers can create two separate lists of favorite channels for family members.  They also can filter channels in the guide by genre, for instances where a customer may only want to see HD content, international channels or kids programming, among others.

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 24 x 7 technical assistance by phone from its specialized Fiber Solutions Centers.

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 delivers Internet download speeds of up to 50 Mbps* (megabits per second) and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps, as well as high-quality voice services. 

FiOS Internet Highlights

Verizon's 50/20 FiOS Internet connection is the fastest available to U.S. consumers, and the company's 20/20 symmetrical service is the first of its kind commercially available to U.S. consumers on a mass scale.  Pioneering a new category of broadband for the American consumer, Verizon's symmetrical FiOS provides the ultra-fast, two-way speeds crucial for such burgeoning online activities as video conferencing, social networking and super-fast uploading of electronic photo albums or home videos, as well as multiplayer gaming and online work collaboration.

Verizon's FiOS Internet service was named the top pick in PC Magazine's 2008 readers' survey and also was named a winner in PC World Magazine's "The 100 Best Products of 2008."  It is the second year in a row that the broadband service made both lists.

At 50 Mbps, downloading a 5 GB (gigabyte) file, such as 112-minute, high-definition movie purchased online, takes approximately 13.3 minutes, while a 50 MB (megabyte) or 60-minute Web video takes 8 seconds, and a 5 MB MP3 music file takes less than eight-tenths of a second.

Using a 20 Mbps upstream broadband connection, a consumer could upload a 250 megabyte (MB) file of 200 photos in about 90 seconds, instead of the roughly 47 minutes it takes over a 768 kilobit-per-second (Kbps) upstream connection.  A 3 GB file, such as a one-hour family video shot with a high-definition video camera, could be uploaded in around 20 minutes, compared with more than nine hours with 768 Kbps upstream.

*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 nearly 69 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 228,600 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.