Arlington County Board Greenlights Competititve Cable TV Service

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Agreement with Verizon offers consumers choice in cable TV, Internet

ARLINGTON, Va. –The Arlington County Board tonight approved an agreement with Verizon Virginia, Inc., to provide cable TV service in Arlington. Under the agreement, the County will receive five per cent of gross revenues for video services and an annual grant to support the County’s institutional network and the public, educational and government channels in exchange for using rights-of-way along County streets.

"Arlington residents now will have a choice of cable television providers," said Christopher Zimmerman, Chairman of the Arlington County Board. "We think competition will improve cable television service throughout the County."

Background
In early 2004, Verizon began providing fiber optic cable service to Arlington County. This technology -- called “fiber to the premise” -- brings the fiber optic cable all the way to the house. Traditional cable service brings fiber optic cable to an external cable junction and then carries the signal from there to the home via copper wire.

Verizon has already been providing voice and data services – called “FIOS” -- over its fiber optic network. The new agreement will enable Verizon to offer customers cable TV service over this same network.

Comcast began offering cable TV service in Arlington in 2000. Arlington County also authorized Starpower -- now called RCN -- to offer cable service in 2000, but the company has not yet built a cable network in Arlington.

Public Comment
The Arlington Cable Television and Information Technology Advisory Commission took public comment at its special public meeting on June 5 and residents commented today at the County Board meeting. Residents also provided written comments.
 

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