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Verizon chief asks for broadcasters’ help, holds open a promise

Verizon Communications CEO Ivan Seidenberg asks for broadcasters’ help in clearing away local franchise requirements hindering fast deployment of video-over-fiber service.

Ivan Seidenberg, CEO and chairman of Verizon Communications, held out an enticing offer to broadcasters during his All-Industry open keynote address April 18 at NAB2005 in Las Vegas.

Seidenberg’s deal asks broadcasters to lend their persuasive voice in support of clearing away requirements for the telecommunications industry to win local franchise agreements to deliver new broadband video and time-consuming local services. In return, he said, broadcasters could use Verizon’s resources to offer content and provide a compelling competitive alternative to cable.

During his address, Seidenberg told broadcasters that since 2000 his company has spent more than $77 billion in capital to deploy transforming technologies like DSL through its landline network, broadband wireless service and fiber to the home and businesses (FiOS).

Seidenberg said FiOS is the fastest, most interactive network being deployed in America today because it delivers 100Mb/s downstream and up to 15Mb/s upstream.

He urged broadcasters to embrace this new delivery alternative as an important distribution alternative, an offer aimed squarely at television broadcasters who have been told there will be no must-carry requirement for digital multicast channel offerings.

"We understand the issues you face as you make the transition to digital television, particularly those around ‘must carry’ and the retransmission of digital content," he said. "This is where our fiber-based system really changes the dialogue from a conversation about scarcity to one about abundance."

For deployment of a fiber-based video service to be successful, however, Verizon needs content, he said.

To read the speech in its entirety, visit

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