FiOS TV breaks through one million user mark

Verizon has announced its optic fiber television service now has more than one million customers and is expecting to continue the aggressive roll out with over nine million homes to be passed by end of 2008. This compares with 5.9 million at the end of 2007. The service which began 28 months ago is now the tenth largest cable television system in the US and with an average sign up rate of 16 per cent of homes passed is expected to continue its rapid growth.

The announcement of one million customers for Verizon’s fiber to the home television service coincided with the telco's Q4 results and compares with 231,000 subscribers AT&T had signed up for its U-Verse IPTV service at the end of 2007. “Some experts doubted that we could come this far this fast,” said Virginia Ruesterholz, president of Verizon Telecom. “We launched FiOS TV just 28 months ago in one Texas market. We are delighted to pass the 1 million milestone," said Ruesterholz.

Verizon resells Direct TV and now has more of its own customers than subscribers of the satellite service, with a total customer base of 1.8 million subscribers. Verizon has now surpassed the total number of customers served by Cable One, which reported just over 699,000 customers at the end of the third quarter and should over take, the ninth-largest competitor, Mediacom Communications (1.3 million customers) by mid year.

Verizon has aggressively marketed the service offering a free HD TV for sign ups during the winter period and announcing it will have 150 channels broadcast in HD format by the year end. Verizon rolled out its own interactive media guide last year and this is to be upgraded with games and widgets during 2008.

The service is delivered using radio frequency spectrum down the optic fiber with interactivity part of an IP overlay network. Verizon President Denny Strigl told an investor call Monday FiOS TV was proving to be an effective means of retaining customers with line loss lowest in regions where FiOS TV and broadband were available.

For full coverage by our expert Fierce reporters and commentators of the Verizon Q4 results and expectations for 2008 go to our Verizon special report.


For more:
- Verizon Q4 Results Release