150,000 Washington County households move closer to real choice for cable TV
Feb 09,2007 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

MACC Board vote encourages greater consumer choice

Many Washington County residents are a major step closer to having more choice for their cable television services, thanks to a vote Thursday by the Metropolitan Area Communications Commission (MACC) Board of Directors. The vote recommends allowing Verizon to offer its fiber-optic-powered FiOS TV service to more than 150,000 Washington County households, or about 420,000 potential viewers.

The agreement needs to be approved by all affected municipalities and Washington County before the company can offer FiOS TV. Verizon hasn't yet stated when its TV offering will be available.

"Consumers want options in their video service provider, and Verizon looks forward to providing area residents with a dramatic new choice that will forever change their TV viewing experience," said David Valdez, Verizon senior vice president for public policy and external affairs in the Pacific Northwest. "Competition drives innovation, value and service quality, and we will compete aggressively in Washington County with our FiOS services."

Washington County, where Verizon began building its fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network in the region two years ago, will be the first area in the Northwest to receive the benefits of the company's FiOS TV offering. FiOS TV is currently priced at $42.99 per month for about 200 channels.

FiOS TV is designed to be a formidable competitor to cable and satellite, offering a broad collection of all-digital programming, two-dozen high-definition channels, more than 5,000 video on demand titles and more. It is delivered over Verizon's all-fiber network, which has industry-leading quality and reliability. Fiber delivers amazingly sharp pictures and sound, and has the capacity to transmit a wide array of high-definition programming that is so clear and intense it seems to leap from the TV screen. Verizon's network design includes backup facilities not common to traditional cable systems, such as duplicate "head ends" where the TV service receives national programming.

Additional information about FiOS Internet and FiOS TV services can be found at http://www.verizon.com/fios and http://www.verizon.com/fiostv.

The FTTP network links homes and businesses to Verizon's network and offers a range of advanced communications services. In addition to video services, the network allows the company to offer consumers and businesses high-speed FiOS Internet Service at download speeds of up to 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and upload speeds up to 5 Mbps. However, actual throughput speeds will vary.