Verizon said today that it has added 21 new channels, including 16 in high-definition (HD), in the Richmond and Virginia Beach areas of its Virginia footprint.

With the recent additions, Verizon said its FiOS TV service now offers more HD channels than Comcast and Cox in the Richmond and Virginia Beach areas. 

FiOS TV customers in those areas now have more than 450 HD choices available at any time, with a total of 45 HD channels and more than 400 HD video-on-demand (VOD) titles offered each month.

Verizon said that it will continue expanding its FiOS TV channel lineup this year, with a major focus on HD content. By year-end, Verizon plans to offer all available major HD programming. The company has previously stated that it will have 150 HD channels by the end of this year.

Earlier this week, Verizon announced that subscribers who sign up for its video service between today and Oct. 4 are eligible for a year’s free use of either an HD DVR or an HD home media DVR.

To further woo customers away from cable and satellite providers, Verizon is also offering new FiOS TV customers, or existing customers who upgrade to a bundled package, one free month of HBO and Cinemax, which includes more than 25 premium channels and access to hundreds of additional titles on VOD. Verizon said new customers who take advantage of this offer could save between $200 and $260.

Verizon announced yesterday that it’s now offering high-speed Internet service in Florida, Mass. Earlier this year, Verizon announced that it was investing $200 million to expand its network in Massachusetts, including bringing its high-speed Internet service to 24 western Massachusetts communities.

In addition to Florida, Verizon expects to also make the service available in Becket, Blandford, Colrain, Cummington, Goshen, Hancock, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Middlefield, Monroe, Montgomery, New Ashford, New Marlborough, Pelham, Plainfield, Rowe, Sandisfield, Tolland, Washington, Westhampton, Windsor and Worthington, and to make the service more widely available in Shutesbury by year’s end.

In other Verizon news, the city council of Woodinville, Wash., voted in favor of granting Verizon a video franchise. Woodinville is the eighth community in the state to grant a video franchise to Verizon, following recent approvals in Bothell, Brier, Edmonds, Everett, Kenmore, Lynnwood and Marysville. The company plans to begin offering FiOS TV in Washington State later this year.

Verizon Communications recently said that Brian Hinman is joining the company as vice president of intellectual property strategy. Effective Sept. 1, Hinman will be responsible for leading the intellectual property strategy for the corporation, including both its Verizon Telecom and Verizon Wireless business groups.

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