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TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. - Verizon unveiled Verizon FiOS TV in Florida today to residents of this city of 21,000 northeast of Tampa, making it the first community in the state to feature the new service. Verizon will begin taking customer orders immediately and will make FiOS TV available in communities across Verizon's service territory next year.
"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."
Information on packages and prices is available at www.verizon.net/fiostv. Temple Terrace-area customers also can call 1-800-964-3194 to see if they're able to order FiOS TV.
FiOS TV is designed to be a formidable competitor to cable and satellite. 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. It also delivers Internet download speeds of up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds of up to 5 Mbps as well as high-quality voice services. Verizon's network design includes backup facilities not common to traditional cable systems, such as duplicate "super head ends" where the TV service receives national programming. The head end located in Temple Terrace served as the site for today's announcement.
FiOS TV uses both broadcast technology to deliver scheduled programming and Internet protocol technology for on-demand viewing. Verizon also uses IP for its Interactive Programming Guide, which makes searching for listings easy and fast, and plans additional IP-based services in the future.
Service highlights include:
- A broad collection of all-digital programming and compelling consumer choice - with more than 330 total channels 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.
- 1,640 video-on-demand titles available to customers now, with 1,800 by year-end.
- 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.
- A dual-tuner 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.
Verizon launched FiOS TV in Keller, Texas, on Sept. 22 and introduced it in Herndon, Va., in November.
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. Following the service rollout in Temple Terrace, Verizon will offer FiOS TV to other areas, including parts of unincorporated Manatee County, next year. In addition to these two franchises, Verizon is in negotiations with Hillsborough County, the city of Tampa, Pasco County, Sarasota County, the city of Sarasota and the city of Venice. When franchises are approved in these municipalities, FiOS TV would be available to 133,000 additional Tampa Bay area households, with an estimated potential audience of nearly 360,000 viewers, in a relatively short time period.
Verizon has also obtained video franchises in California, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia and Texas. In Texas, where a landmark new law allows Verizon and other new video entrants to obtain state-issued franchises that meet the financial requirements of the law for cities and counties, Verizon was recently awarded 21 franchises and plans to offer FiOS TV service to about 400,000 households, or about 1 million potential viewers, by the end of 2006. It is anticipated that Verizon will seek state-issued franchise legislation for Florida in 2006, as well as for other states Verizon serves.
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 for $12.95 per month. The service is digital with a set-top box, which also provides access to on-demand programming. 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 1,640 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, which are included in this tier at no extra charge.
- La Conexión, an alternative to Expanded Basic service 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 video on demand. This service requires a standard-definition set-top box or a high-definition set-top box for HD channels, which are included in this tier at no extra charge.
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. The movie package includes access to each channel's video-on-demand titles. Or, they can buy both for $14.95 a month. In addition, for wrestling fans, Verizon offers World Wrestling Entertainment's WWE 24/7, a new subscription video-on-demand service, for $7.95 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. The price includes access to each channel's subscription video-on-demand library. 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.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 49.3 million customers nationwide, and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers in 28 states. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of nearly 215,000 and generates annual revenues of more than $71 billion from four business segments: Domestic Telecom, Domestic Wireless, Information Services and International. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.