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Momentum grows for Verizon FiOS cable alternative

On the heels on Verizon’s roll out of its second FiOS TV community in Herdon, VA, the company won approval from the Nyack Village Board of Trustees Nov. 28 to provide residents with its television service via its new fiber-to-the-premises network.

Verizon debuted the new service Sept. 22 in Keller, TX. Days later, the Long Island, NY, community of Massapequa Park voted to award the company the first franchise in the state. Both the Nyack Village and Massapequa Park deals are subject to review by the New York Public Service Commission.

On April 18, Verizon CEO and Chairman Ivan Seidenberg delivered the All-Industry keynote at NAB2005 in Las Vegas, in which he solicited the support of the broadcast industry in clearing away rules requiring local franchise agreements to deliver new broadband video. In return, he told broadcasters that they could use Verizon’s FiOS as an alternative to cable TV for content delivery.

Earlier this month, the FCC launched a rulemaking proceeding seeking input on what steps can be taken to prevent local franchising authorities (LFAs) from unreasonably refusing to award cable franchises to new, competitive service providers.

Since 2000, Verizon has spent more than $77 billion in capital to deploy technologies like DSL, broadband wireless services and fiber to the home and business via its landline network. Verizon has obtained video franchises in California, Virginia, Florida and Massachusetts, as well as a state-issued franchise in Texas to provide service in 21 communities.

FiOS TV is a video service designed to compete with cable and satellite. It is delivered over Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises network. Verizon's network design includes backup facilities, such as duplicate headends.

At NAB2005, Seidenberg told broadcasters that FiOS TV could rework the distribution equation, fundamentally transforming it from a situation where the conversation centers on bandwidth scarcity to abundance.

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