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Verizon cable a vote away

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Bronx residents may have a choice in their cable television provider by the end of the year, if a vote by the New York City Franchise and Concession Review Committee on Tuesday, May 27, goes Verizon’s way. 

The FCRC held a hearing on May 20 to hear Verizon’s plans to install its’ advanced fiber-optics network throughout all five boroughs and provide cable choices to 3.1 million New Yorkers. 

“We have the people, knowledge, resources and dedication to service to do the job and build our FiOS fiber-optic system in ever New York City neighborhood,” said Thomas Dunne, Verizon vice-president for government affairs in New York, during testimony submitted to the committee. 

The company first filed an initial proposal with the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications on April 15, which was approved on April 29.

In addition to the introduction of a new cable competitor, the Verizon plan is considered one of the largest investments made by a telecommunications company in New York and will include over $4 million for a technology and education fund that will enable service to public and municipal buildings; over $18 million in grants through the life of the 12-year agreement to support public access via the City’s five borough-based Community Access Organizations; and $10 million in grants to support the City’s education and government access channels. 

Delivered over an advanced fiber-optic network, Verizon’s FiOS TV will compete with current cable and satellite offerings, featuring a broad range of all-digital programming, over 400 channels, including those in high-definition (HD), and access to thousands of on-demand titles. The FiOS TV service will also deliver Internet download speeds of up to 50 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps, as well as high-quality voice service.

Fiber-optic cabling is already being installed in parts of the Bronx, and residents in those communities are already experiencing Verizon’s fast speed Internet access.  A rollout schedule for FiOS TV will be announced at a later time according to a Verizon spokesperson. 

As Cablevision is currently the only wire cable TV operator serving the Bronx, borough residents will now be able to have a choice and shop for cable service, as Verizon senior vice president for New York and Connecticut Monica Azare has assured. 

 “For too long, residents have been locked in to one provider for their cable TV entertainment,” Azare said.  “With an award of the first-ever citywide franchise, Verizon will be able to throw open the doors to competition, providing real choice and real value.”

Azare explained how the high-speed service will serve all borough residents, stating, “Bronx residents will be able to take advantage of the power of fiber optics delivered straight to their doors, without regard to the demographics of a particular area.”

Verizon has already installed its all-fiber network in Williamsbridge, Olinville, Woodlawn, Wakefield, Eastchester, Edenwald, Norwood, Bronxdale, Laconia and Baychester.  Other areas will soon follow.

“We have a vested personal and professional interest in delivering the best communication services to our customers,” said Dunne, “because in so many cases, they’re our friends, our neighbors and our families.”

Bronxites who would like to find out more about FiOS TV in New York City may visit the service’s website at http://www.nytvchoice.com.   

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