Residents of the Montgomery County townships of Montgomery and Hatfield are a major step closer to having a real choice for their cable television services, thanks to recently approved agreements authorizing Verizon
to offer its fiber-optic-powered FiOS TV in those communities.
Verizon is the first company to offer such a communications network, connecting homes and businesses directly to fiber optics on a widespread scale.
The communities are members of the Montgomery County consortium, which represents some 30 communities that are taking steps to advance cable alternatives for nearly 225,000 households. The consortium's steering committee announced on June 28 that it had reached a master agreement with Verizon on the terms of a cable franchise and recommended that each of its member communities grant Verizon a franchise.
With the latest approvals, a total of 22 municipalities in the counties of Montgomery, Chester, Bucks and Delaware have said yes to cable competition and awarded cable franchises to Verizon. Verizon will announce availability plans for FiOS TV in these communities later this year.
"The momentum to bring consumers long-overdue, much-needed choice and competition for cable TV is building in Pennsylvania," said William B. Petersen, president of Verizon Pennsylvania. "Verizon's FiOS TV offers an innovative, reliable and competitive alternative to the incumbent cable provider - powered by our lightning-fast fiber-optic network.
"We hope to bring innovation, reliability and value to more Pennsylvanians by reaching similar agreements with other communities."
Under the agreements, Verizon will be able to offer FiOS TV service to residents of the townships. In addition, the agreements require Verizon to pay the communities franchise fees based on the company's gross revenues on cable services in each community.
Verizon currently offers FiOS TV in parts of California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Texas and Virginia. The company will make FiOS TV available in Pennsylvania markets where it has negotiated franchise agreements with local authorities.