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Cablevision to face competition

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After over a year and a half of negotiating, Verizon’s efforts to bring cable to the Bronx have proved worthwhile.

On Wednesday, July 16, the New York State Public Service Commission confirmed an agreement that Verizon will provide TV service to all five boroughs.

The company that’s already installed an all-fiber network in Williamsbridge, Olinville, Bronxdale, Laconia and Baychester is expected to expand its reach within the next few weeks.

Now in competition with current cable and satellite providers for over 1.4 million Bronx residents, Verizon will provide service through its state-of-the-art, all-fiber-optic FIOS TV network, featuring a broad range of all-digital programming. 

“We’re building fiber in 17 states, New York now being one of them,” Verizon spokesperson John Bonomo said. “All across the country individual service providers have dominated areas, leaving residents option-less. But not anymore, especially not in the Bronx.”

Although the service technicalities have yet to be announced, prices are said to be relatively similar to those of Westchester’s Triple Play package that runs for $94.99 and includes; 200 plus channels, 30 of them in High Definition; Internet with a download rate of 20 megabytes per second; an upload rate of five megabytes per second and unlimited local, regional and long distance telephone service.

According to Bonomo, it’s too simplex to compare providers on an individual basis because people have different wants and needs. However, Verizon provides a societal service by offering a more technologically advanced product, which in turn will generate stimulating competition that could lead to cheaper prices and technological advances.

Regardless of Verizon’s victory, Cablevision, the only cable company to serve the Bronx since the early 80’s, is putting up a fight, releasing a statement saying, “We’ve been competing against satellite providers, RCN and others in New York City for many years, and customers have continued to recognize the value and superiority of Optimum’s TV, voice and high-speed Internet services.”

According to Cablevision spokesperson Jim Maiella, as signs of Cablevision’s resilience, Optimum’s HD channels will increase from 45 to 60 at the end of the month.

Similarly to Verizon’s Triple Play package, Optimum has its Optimum Triple Play. Offered since 2004, it includes digital cable service with more than 200 channels and video on demand and high-speed Internet with a download rate of 15 megabytes per second and an upload rate of two megabytes per second.

It also offers Optimum Voice home phone service with calling features such as caller id or calling waiting at $29.95 per service each month, adding up to just under a $90 monthly price tag.

Verizon feels they offer more bang for the buck. 

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