NYC: Verizon files to break cable monopolies

Posted on April 16, 2008 - 6:37am.

from: Cranes New York

Verizon files to break cable monopolies

The telecommunications giant submitted a proposal that would make it the first company to offer cable TV service throughout New York City.
April 15. 2008 5:59PMBy: Amanda Fung

Verizon Communications Inc. would be the first company to offer cable TV service throughout all of New York City under a plan filed with city officials Tuesday.

The citywide plan was submitted just four days after the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications said they were accepting proposals from new cable TV providers. The telecom giant hopes to begin offering TV service in the city later this year, if approvals are granted in the timely fashion.

Right now, the city is served by two companies that have divided the market: Time Warner serves customers in Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens and parts of Brooklyn, while Cablevision serves customers in the Bronx and those parts of Brooklyn not served by Time Warner.

“This important step sets in motion the process for Verizon to offer choice and competition in the traditional monopoly cable TV market to all the residents of the five boroughs of New York City,” said Monica Azare, Verizon’s senior vice president for New York and Connecticut, in a statement.

Under Verizon’s TV proposal, within six years the company will offer TV over its fiber-optic network, dubbed FiOS TV, to customers in all five boroughs—about 3.1 million households. In addition, Verizon has agreed to pay cable franchise fees to the city equal to 5% of gross revenue from its TV service—the same offered by its competitors—and will consent to customer service provisions. Verizon has proposed a 12-year agreement with the city.

DoITT will evaluate Verizon’s plan and forward it to the city’s Franchise and Concessions Review Committee for a public hearing and consideration. If the city approves the plan, it will be submitted to the New York Public Service Committee.

Verizon began deploying its fiber network about four years ago. Residents in certain neighborhoods of the five boroughs can already subscribe to Verizon’s FiOS Internet service.

Time Warner and Cablevision are currently negotiating with DoITT to renew their cable franchise agreements with the city. They are set to expire this fall.

( categories: NEW YORK | Verizon )