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FiOS TV is plugging into the borough

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Brooklyn’s cable television customers may soon have another provider to choose from—and more channels to occupy their attention.

Late last month, the city’s Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) announced a cable television franchise contract with Verizon it heralded as “historic.”

The agreement must still be approved by the city’s six-member Franchise and Concession Review Committee, which will hold a hearing on the matter on May 20.

The service, called FiOS TV, will include over 400 channels and 150 high-definition channels, and a library of 10,000 video-on-demand selections, according to Verizon.

Under the terms of the agreement, Verizon’s network would reach 30 percent of the city by the end of 2008, 50 percent by 2010 and all areas by 2014.

Verizon spokesperson John Bonomo said he could not yet say specifically which areas of Brooklyn would be connected first.

According to its filings with DoITT, Verizon’s fiber deployment and FiOS Internet is available, as of March 2008, in Canarsie, Clinton Hill, sections of Bensonhurst, Crown Heights, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Homecrest, Williamsburg, Fort Greene, DUMBO, Gravesend, Flatlands, Georgetowne, Marine Park, Bergen Beach, Mill Basin, Prospect Heights, and Madison.

The company began constructing its fiber network in late 2004—running into protest in neighborhoods like Marine Park, where residents balked at poles being installed in front of their homes.

At end of 2008, 12 percent of the borough will be covered by the new network, Bonomo said. By the end of 2009, that number will jump up to about 30 percent, he said. FiOS-TV is already available on Long Island, in the suburbs north of the city and in New Jersey.

Under the terms of the agreement, Verizon would pay the city a franchise fee of 5 percent of the revenues from the cable service, and provide a $10 million capital grant to the city-owned NYC TV—located in Downtown Brooklyn—and a $4 million Technology Education and Municipal Facilities grant to expand public access to technology.

Deputy Mayor Robert Lieber hailed the agreement. “Our administration is committed to bringing better service and competitive choices for cable television to the residents of New York City, and the proposed agreement would go a long way toward doing that,” he said.

“With the introduction of direct competition among cable companies, prices and service levels would reflect real market forces, and New York City customers would be the beneficiar­ies,” he added.

Paul Cosgrave, DoITT’s commissioner, called the agreement a “seminal moment in the history of cable television service.”

Bonomo said his company’s network “future-proofs” homes, readying them for any technological changes.

“We have the ability to marry together a lot of services that rely on Internet, television and wireless,” he added.

“One of the advantages of this is that it brings fiber optics directly to your door,” Bonomo added. “The bandwidth and the speed are unmatched by any other provider.”

He said his company’s network “future-proofs” homes, readying them for any technological changes.

“We have the ability to marry together a lot of services that rely on Internet, television and wireless,” he added.

The majority of city residents have just one cable television provider available to them—either Time Warner Cable or Cablevision, whose 10-year contracts will expire this year. Public hearings weighing their renewal are planed.

Brooklyn residents who would like to find out more about Verizon’s plans for FiOS TV in New York City can visit http://www.nytvchoice.com

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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