The long wait will soon be over for Fairfax County residents eager for cable TV competition, thanks to a unanimous Board of Supervisors vote Monday night (Sept. 26) authorizing Verizon
to offer its fiber-optic powered FiOS TV Service in the county.
With its 351,000 households, Fairfax County is the largest jurisdiction to date to grant Verizon a cable franchise. Verizon launched Fios TV Sept. 22 in Keller, Texas, unveiling a broad collection of all-digital programming with more than 330 total channels and more on the way. Availability plans for FiOS TV in Fairfax County will be announced soon.
The 15-year agreement authorizes Verizon to offer FiOS TV throughout the county, except for independent municipalities like the towns of Clifton, Herndon and Vienna, and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church. In Virginia, the company already has obtained franchise agreements from the town of Herndon and the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, and the city of Fairfax Council will hold a public hearing and possible vote on an agreement at its public meeting tonight (Sept. 27).
"This agreement accelerates Fairfax County to the forefront of markets nationwide where consumers can choose among several companies competing to meet all their information and entertainment needs," said Robert W. Woltz Jr., Verizon Virginia president. "Competition drives innovation, value and service quality, and it puts the consumer in the driver's seat.
"And Verizon provides the perfect vehicle - FiOS services, which are fueled by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network."
Under the agreement, Verizon will provide FiOS TV to portions of the county where Verizon's fiber network is currently being built. Verizon plans to extend FiOS TV across the county over the next seven years as it constructs its fiber network in the areas served by the company's central switching offices.
In addition, the agreement contains provisions for the network's future growth; financial support and capacity for educational and government access channels; cable service to government buildings; and other important benefits including insurance, indemnification and enforcement protections.
FiOS TV is designed to compete with cable and satellite and win. It is delivered over Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises 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.
In addition to FiOS TV, Verizon's fiber network also 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.* FiOS Internet Service currently is available to many northern Virginia customers.