UPDATE, 1:14 p.m.: While 12 more cities can now offer residents FiOS TV, not everyone will be able to get it. People living in apartments and possibly some condos will need to get the landlord to agree to let Verizon install the service.
Here’s the breakdown of households in Orange County cities that are immediately eligible for FiOS TV service:
Fountain Valley: 300 homes
Huntington Beach: 40,000 homes
Garden Grove: 5,300
From 11 a.m.: Verizon is announcing today that it will immediately turn on its FiOS TV service in Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Westminster and a few unincorporated parts of Orange County.
This means one more choice of TV content for residents of HB and other cities where FiOS is now offered. Verizon’s FiOS package includes 200 channels (including 21 HD channels) for $42.99 per month. There is also a video on demand library and a Spanish language package.
Verizon, obviously, is no longer just a telephone company. It’s been struggling for years to offer TV service over its new fiber-optic cabling (hence the FiOS moniker). While it picked up small cities, such as Beaumont, it couldn’t crack the code where its OC customers live. Because in order to offer the service, it needed to visit and petition each local cable franchise in California.
Stalled at the local level, Verizon, AT&T and others petitioned the state to streamline the process of granting of TV franchises. Instead of appealing to each city, companies could apply at the state level, much like phone service. The state Public Utilities Commission approved the new rule March 1, as part of the California Digital Infrastructure and Cable Competition Act of 2006. And within a week, Verizon got approved.
Today’s announcement brings the number of potential FiOS households in California to 129,000. Verizon hopes to offer the service to 500,000 homes by the end of 2007.
Cities where FiOS service starts immediately:
Plus many unincorporated areas of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.
Cities that already have FiOS TV:
Unincorporated areas of Riverside County
And these cities will soon get service when construction of the fiber-optic network is completed, promises Verizon:
Desert Hot Springs
Palos Verdes Estates
Rancho Palos Verdes
Rolling Hills Estates
Santa Fe Springs
If your city isn’t listed, you’re probably covered by another company, possibly AT&T (which is hoping to offer its own TV service in Anaheim and other OC cities).
Consumers in those cities with FiOS can check www.verizonfios.com or call 1-877-707-7066 to see if it’s available for their home.
If you’re home doesn’t qualify check back in a day or two.
I’ll get more details at today’s press conference.