July 28, 2009, may never be included in the "This Date in History" lists, but it certainly is a memorable day for New Yorkers. It marks the first anniversary of the launch of FiOS TV in New York City.
The day also marks the first anniversary of when New Yorkers were first given a choice in television providers, providing residents in all five boroughs an opportunity to break the monopoly grip that old-fashioned cable providers have had in the city.
By the end of last year, Verizon had met its goal of offering FiOS TV to half a million households in the city. During the first seven months of 2009, the company has been building and extending its all-fiber network deeper into existing neighborhoods, and has started the fiber-network construction process in additional neighborhoods. The company expects its FiOS network to reach approximately 800,000 households in the city by the end of the year.
FiOS TV is now available in 160 neighborhoods throughout each of the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. And the availability will be expanded even farther over the next several days, as the company offers FiOS TV in 11 more neighborhoods in the eastern and northern sections of Brooklyn.
The franchise agreement awarded to Verizon last year by New York City calls for the company to build out its all-fiber-optic facilities to all parts of all five boroughs by mid-2014.
"It's been a great first year for FiOS TV in New York City," said Kevin Service, Verizon's vice president for operations for the city. "The construction of our FiOS network is on schedule, and the feedback we're getting from our customers is outstanding. New Yorkers are finally benefitting from the best technology, the best value and the best entertainment and Internet experience."
(To see a video about Verizon's first year of FiOS TV in New York City, go to verizon.mediaseed.tv/Story.aspx?story=36860.)
Building fiber in a city environment has presented challenges that Verizon has met head-on Verizon has worked with equipment suppliers and vendors to develop solutions for bringing the fiber signal from basements to top floors in apartment buildings; for dealing with the limited amounts of space available in city buildings and apartments; and for making sure the fiber signal maintains its strength as the fiber cable rounds corners and bends on its way to customers' apartments.
"Installing fiber in an urban environment is much more difficult than bringing fiber to a single-family home in a residential neighborhood," said Christopher Levendos, Verizon's chief engineer for deploying FiOS in the city. "Yet we have brought FiOS to two of the largest apartment complexes in the country: Peter Cooper Village/Stuyvesant Town on the East Side of Manhattan, and the Parkchester complex in the Bronx. And each day we are meeting with hundreds of landlords and other property owners to bring FiOS into their buildings."
(To see a video about how Verizon's has met the challenges of installing FiOS services in urban environments like New York City, go to verizon.mediaseed.tv/Story.aspx?story=36860.)
Levendos noted that Verizon FiOS TV service is also for sale at the New York City Housing Authority's Berry Housing Complex on Staten Island, and in hundreds of multiple-dwelling apartment houses throughout the city.
In addition, the company has opened stores during the year in each of the five boroughs. The stores serve as customer service centers, enabling residents to discuss their FiOS Internet and TV services with representatives and return and pick up equipment such as set-top boxes or remotes.
Inside the stores, Verizon has created a family-room setting where shoppers can try out FiOS Internet, FiOS TV and FiOS TV's innovative DVR products. Shoppers can also order all other Verizon services right at the store; pay their Verizon bills via cash, check, credit or debit; or consult with representatives about their services. The stores are located at:
2201 Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11210
2127 Bronxwood Ave., Bronx, N.Y. 10469
204 Second Ave, New York, N.Y. 10003
36-31 Main St., Flushing, N.Y. 11354
1625 Forest Ave., Staten Island, N.Y. 10302