Verizon one step closer to D.C. franchise agreement

Wed, 10/08/2008 - 8:40am
Mike Robuck

Verizon said today that it has brokered a franchise agreement with the District of Columbia Office of Cable Television (OCT), but it still needs to pass a vote by the Council of the District of Columbia before it can offer its FiOS video service.

Verizon said it has negotiated with the District of Columbia OCT for the past 10 months. The franchise agreement covers each of the District’s eight wards over the next six years.

Under the terms of the agreement, Verizon will offer nine PEG access channels with a provision for up to five additional PEG channels. Financial support for the PEG channels will come from a 3 percent fee on gross revenues.

The payment of the franchise fees will be equivalent to 5 percent of gross revenues on the cable TV service, and Verizon has also agreed to extensive customer service provisions.

Subject to franchise approval by year’s-end, Verizon said it expects to start offering its video service in roughly a year. Verizon will compete with Comcast’s video service in the Washington, D.C., area.

The Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs plans to hold a public hearing on the franchise agreement before sending the legislation to the full Council for review and consideration.

In July, Verizon began installing its FiOS video service in parts of all five boroughs in New York City (story here).

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