Prince George's County, Maryland, Awards Verizon Franchise for FiOS TV

Council Vote Opens Door to Cable Competition in County of More than 286,000 Households; Vote Follows Approval Earlier Today of Franchise by Montgomery County Council

News Release

November 28, 2006 –

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - Residents of Prince George's County are a major step closer to having a real choice for their cable television service, thanks to a County Council vote today (Nov. 28) to authorize Verizon to offer its fiber-optic-powered FiOS TV in the county.

Verizon plans to begin offering FiOS TV early next year in parts of the county where it has upgraded to an all-fiber network.  The company will announce pricing and packages soon.

Verizon delivers FiOS TV over the nation's most comprehensive all-digital, fiber network.  Only Verizon's FiOS network has earned the certification of the independent Fiber to the Home Council for providing fiber all the way to customers' homes.

"The momentum to bring consumers long-overdue, much-needed choice and competition for their TV service is building in Maryland," said William R. Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland.  "Verizon's FiOS TV offers an innovative, reliable and competitive alternative to the incumbent cable provider - powered by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network.  We will work to bring the benefits of competition as quickly as possible to Prince George's County residents." 

Prince George's County joins the Maryland cities of Laurel and Bowie, and Anne Arundel, Howard and Montgomery counties, in endorsing consumer choice and competition, bringing to more than 888,000 the number of Maryland households in areas where Verizon has a local franchise to offer television service.  The Montgomery County Council approved a franchise with Verizon at its meeting earlier today.

Verizon is also in discussions with 25 independent municipalities in Prince George's County and expects to reach agreements with them soon.   

Verizon currently offers FiOS TV in Anne Arundel and Howard counties, and in Bowie.  In addition to Maryland, the company provides FiOS TV in parts of California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Texas and Virginia.

FiOS TV is designed to be a formidable competitor to cable and satellite, offering a broad collection of all-digital programming, two dozen high-definition channels, video on demand and more.  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. 

In addition to FiOS TV, Verizon's fiber network also allows the company to offer consumers and businesses high-speed FiOS Internet Service at download speeds of up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds up to 5 Mbps.*  FiOS Internet Service currently is available to many consumers and small businesses in parts of Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

* NOTE: actual (throughput) speeds will vary.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a New York-based Dow 30 company, 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 57 million customers nationwide.  Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks.  Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

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Media Contact:

Christy Reap, 202-392-1021