Council unanimously approves Verizon FiOS- Philadelphia News

February 5, 2009 3:46:34 PM PST
Telecommunication titan Verizon is again charging into competition with cable giant Comcast with fiber optic wires as its weapon. This time, the fight is for the wallets of Philadelphia TV viewers. Philadelphia City Council on Thursday morning OK'd Verizon's plan to start making FiOS service avilable.

Comcast's enormous LED TV in the lobby of their corporate headquarters is a symbol of the cable giant dominance in its hometown, but that appears on the verge of dramatic change.

Verizon promises to build a $1-billion fiber optic TV and internet network for the city and go head-on competitively with Comcast, the nation's largest cable TV provider.

"Within seven years, we will build out the entire city, so we're talking about 600,000 residents in the city of Philadelphia, who for the first time in 20 years will have an alternative cable provider," Sharon Shaffer of Verizon said.

"There's no downside; it's good for consumers, it's good for business, they tell us it will bring down prices," Lance Haver, the Philadelphia Consumer Affairs Director, said.

Earlier, Comcast refused to provide an on-camera spokesman, choosing instead to issue this statement:

"Competition is notthing new for Comcast. We compete every day across every area of our business. We love our competitive position. We continue to innovate, innovate, enhance, and deliver our triple play of products."

Verizon sees this as the major breakthrough in their ongoing battle against Comcast's dominance.

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