Verizon Cracks Maryland’s Cable Market


Verizon added another piece to its fiber-optic video market Tuesday when
Howard County, Md., authorized the phone giant to begin offering its FiOS
television service in the prosperous Washington, D.C., suburb.


With its more than 265,000 potential viewers, Howard County is the first
Maryland jurisdiction to grant Verizon a cable franchise. Verizon already
has FiOS systems in place in Texas, Florida and Virginia.


Under the 15-year agreement, Verizon will provide FiOS TV to
portions of the county where Verizon’s fiber network is currently being
built, reaching a large majority of customers within three years.


Verizon plans to extend FiOS TV across the county over the next seven years,
as it constructs its fiber network in the areas served by the company’s
central switching offices.


The company is hoping that FiOS TV, with its fast speeds and ability to carry
data, voice and video, will lure customers from rival telecoms and ISPs that
offer DSL over copper and cable
operators selling broadband through coax.


“Competition drives innovation, value and service quality, and it puts the
consumer in control,” William R. Roberts, Verizon’s Maryland president, said
in a statement. He vowed to “compete aggressively” to allow consumers to
“choose their cable provider as easily as they choose their phone company.”


The deal with Howard County also contains provisions for financial support
and capacity for educational and government access channels, cable service
to government buildings and insurance, indemnification and enforcement
protections.


FiOS TV is delivered over Verizon’s fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network,
which has the capacity to provide consumers with voice, video and data services. Verizon
launched

FiOS TV last year in Keller, Texas, unveiling a collection of
all-digital programming with more than 330 total channels.


Verizon plans to surpass 1 million homes and businesses in parts of nine
states with fiber by the end of the year.

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