Verizon’s plan to deploy its FiOS video service in the Philadelphia area took a step forward yesterday when a city council committee voted in favor of granting a franchise agreement.
In order to offer its video service in Philadelphia, which is where Comcast’s headquarters is located, Verizon still needs the full approval of the city council. According to published reports, the full approval could come in two weeks.
In yesterday’s meeting, the Committee on Public Property and Public Works recommended approval of a 15-year franchise agreement for Verizon to build a $1 billion fiber-optic network over the next seven years. Verizon has said it may have service to some homes by the end of the year.
While the Verizon franchise agreement has the support of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Comcast has voiced its opposition (story here).
“We continue to follow the process with the firm belief that the phone company should not be able to skirt conditions that Comcast is held to,” Comcast spokesman Jeff Alexander wrote in an e-mail to CED.
Verizon has been working on the franchise agreement since June. According to published reports, both sides were close to an accord in November, but some council members expressed concern over which neighborhoods would receive the service first.
In the past, Comcast has expressed concern that Verizon would “cherry pick” the more affluent neighborhoods for its FiOS services, while ignoring lower-income areas.
In response to city council members concern over how the service would be deployed, Verizon came up with a plan that would rollout FiOS in neighborhoods across all of the city council districts.
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