Verizon brings FiOS to region

Company spurs cable competition in communities

Verizon plans on attracting more than just cellular customers in the Capital District with its dive into television services.

Residents and businesses in the towns of Bethlehem and Guilderland and the villages of Colonie and Scotia can now sign up for Verizon's FiOS offerings of TV, Internet and voice services after the unveiling on Friday, March 25. Verizon representatives said the company's all-fiber-optic connection would provide consumers with unparalleled picture quality for TV programming and an Internet download speed to match. Verizon plans to take on the largest cable service provider, Time Warner, but didn't call it out by name, only giving an obvious nod.

Starting today we are bringing FiOS TV to the Capital District, said Sam Caldwell, vice president of external affairs for Verizon. "The stranglehold that the cable companies have enjoyed in the cable TV space is over."

In addition to the four municipalities mentioned, the New York State Public Service Commission is reviewing a franchise agreement for the City of Schenectady. The Town of Colonie's franchise agreement is also under review by the NYSPSC after town officials approved the contract on Thursday, March 24. Verizon spokesman John Bonomo said the all-fiber-optic connection is how it can achieve its claims of better picture quality.

"With more towns and villages expected to come on board soon, Verizon FiOS will transform the landscape from cable TV service for years to come," said Tracey Edwards, region president for Verizon.

The company has spent more than $1 billion on infrastructure investments in the region. FiOS is currently available to 23,000 people, with residents of Schenectady and Colonie to add 38,000 additional potential customers.

No specifics were given as to what communities Verizon plans to expand its FiOS TV to, but the pattern of deployment tends to branch off from surrounding communities with the service. Once a franchise agreement is approved, Verizon has five years to deploy the infrastructure to meet demands from all residents in the area. Before reaching out for an agreement locally, it starts building out into the prospective community.

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