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Is Verizon Abandoning FiOS HD Television?

rc whalen's picture


Two years ago, Verizon agressivley opened a campaign to get communities in New York to adopt their new FiOS fiber optic service for telephony, Internet and digital television.  In my Village of Croton on Hudson, NY, which is located between Peekskill and Ossining in Westchester County, we  responded in a timely manner and even retained special counsel experienced in these agreements to be sure the village's interests were well protected and represented.

Our villagetook steps to move to FiOS because VZ had already negotiated franchise agreements with larger municipalities to the south and east of Croton.  Verizon was busy stringing the fiber optic cable throughout the NY area that would carry the FiOS TV, as well as telephone and Interent, so we figured the service offering was real.  VZ even began an agressive direct mail and newspaper stuffer campaign advertising phone, internet and TV as a combined FIOS package to Croton residents, including my family.

Our community bought the VZ campaign hook, line and sinker.  Like my family, many Croton residents dropped cable and satelite satelitte TV dish subscriptions based on what now seem to be false representations by VZ that the television service was about to be launched.  This was a year ago.  Today we have  FiOS phone and internet,which is great BTW, but no TV.  For me this meant going back to Cablevision and wasting time, again, changing providers.   As of today, VZ representatives cannot give me a date for turning on the TV service and they refuse to respond to queries by attorneys for our village seeking to finalize the service contract.

On more than one ocassion over the past 18 months, the Village of Croton has submitted revisions or comments on the TV franchise agreement to VZ, only to have those documents, which VZ appeared eager to have, go without a response.  The Village of Croton regularly renegotiates franchise agreements with Cablevision, which both set a precendent in process and substance for the VZ FiOS TV matter, as well as show that we do conclude such agreements in timely fashion for other corporate applicants.

Both through our attorney and directly through the village's own contacts within the VZ empire, we have tired to elicit a response fromVZ management, but without success.  Each time we follow up, we get vague answers that do not appear to eliminate the possibility of FiOS TV coming to Croton, but offer no forward motion either.  As of today, we still have no definitive answer, one way or the other.  Indeed, my impression is that VZ has no intention of moving forward with the TV service in our community.  More, in my discussions with VZ field personnel over the past month, there seems to be no indication that VZ is going to actually bring the TV service to Croton on Hudson.  Whereas a year ago, the VZ personnel we touting the benefits of FiOS digital TV, today they say nothing.

In the most recent filings with the SEC, VZ reports that "while "FiOS and IP services offerings continue to positively impact operating results, economic conditions continue to affect parts of our wireline business."  Translated into plain English, VZ is still straining to fund the CAPEX needed to replace the copper-era technology that makes up most of its network even as average spend per household on communications falls under the pressure of a deflating economy.  Will FD FiOS TV be a casualty of the deflating economy?




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Sun, 11/01/2009 - 21:53 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 11/01/2009 - 15:29 | Link to Comment rr_
rr_'s picture

Thanks for posting here!  I hope you are Richard Christopher Whalen.


From what you say, the danger as I see it is not TV over FIOS, but FIOS deployment itself which is at risk.  Will it end up with intercity high speed rail, low-cost-to-free higher education, and national health care as first world public goods which the US fails to subsidize?


Devolution apace?

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 14:38 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 11/01/2009 - 13:37 | Link to Comment GoldmanSux
GoldmanSux's picture

Nobody has really noticed the increasing risk in VZ. First goes the dividend, stay tuned for this.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 13:29 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Mon, 11/02/2009 - 09:47 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 11/01/2009 - 12:55 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 11/01/2009 - 12:37 | Link to Comment Fish Gone Bad
Fish Gone Bad's picture

VZ FIOs came down my street and hooked everyone up.  Now the repair trucks are always at people's houses.

I elected to cut my TV viewing down to Heroes (and eventually Lost) that I grab off of Azureus. 

Watching TV is such a tremendous waste of time.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 12:27 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 11/01/2009 - 11:48 | Link to Comment Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

TV? You don' need no steenkin' TV.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 11:32 | Link to Comment Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture


1. Why on earth would you believe a: "Trust us, but don't verify"?

2. You should know better than to believe for a moment anyone in a position of corporate authority would ever allow themselves to be nailed down as to what they will actually provide.  Service agreements have enough holes to move a 1,000 pound TBTF institution through.  So, why are you attempting to prod one to move?  Unless you goal is simply to hold up a mirror and tell them that they have joined the 1,000 pound man club.

Remember Chris, apply what currently passes for a process of macro and micro prudential bank regulation to this situation and you should have a ahemm, clearer picture.

All The Best

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 11:59 | Link to Comment Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

+1, here, here.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 11:16 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 11/01/2009 - 11:13 | Link to Comment SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

The mail blitz at my home has recently shifted from FIOS 3-services offering (phone, TV and Internet) to 2-services offering (phone and Internet) and I have suspected it was about pricing, but having seen this article now I am not so sure.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 11:05 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 11/01/2009 - 10:47 | Link to Comment rc whalen
rc whalen's picture

Thanks for the comments. I'll let you know if we hear from VZ, but this situation is really odd. 

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 10:13 | Link to Comment bugs_
bugs_'s picture

I hate phone companies AND cable companies.  Oh for

a viable third option.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 01:22 | Link to Comment time123
time123's picture

We need better competition in the market. Then it will be easier for consumers to get a good response.


Sun, 11/01/2009 - 01:00 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 11/01/2009 - 01:52 | Link to Comment Brett in Manhattan
Brett in Manhattan's picture

I wish they would "abandon" their direct mail campaign. It's freakin' relentless. Half the contents of my paper shredder consists of Verizon FIOS offers.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 13:27 | Link to Comment Lionhead
Lionhead's picture

Excellent comments here; also getting tired of all the Geico direct mail. Tired to the point of never considering any Geico products. Way, way too much overexposure sours consumers IMHO. Warren, get a clue here old fellow.....  Consumers are repelled, not drawn to excessive direct mail campaigns.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 11:57 | Link to Comment Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Do you guys ever ask yourselves why we the public subsidize junk mail by paying higher postal rates for our mail and tax subsidies to the UPS itself?

UPS, now paranoid mail volume is down, hence revenues are down are doing what?

Cutting the rates for junk mail. I read this article a couple of months ago and cannot tell you if it has already gone into effect.

But at least the UPS understands the concepts that all things being equal, customers will buy more of a product at lower prices...

I ask you all again, why are we subsidizing US Corporate junk mail no one wants stuffed in their box? Shouldn't the pubic pay less for postage and the junk mailers pay more? They are using our public UPS that our taxes supported for years...

Oh yeah I forgot, corporate ownership of the worthless hack politicians on the UPS oversight committee...

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 13:23 | Link to Comment Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture


UPS is a competitor of a "local" business ( -> ) here in the Memphis area.  heh

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 10:06 | Link to Comment Lionhead
Lionhead's picture

Same here is Florida; at least one piece of mail every 2 days. Rubbish.  Neighbor got Fios; within a month the satellite dishes were back up on the roof. Instant red flag to avoid their services. Moreover, their website is a mess. All goes to show the incompetence of VZ management by building a fiber "bubble" network at the credit cycle peak. Fios, no thanks.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 01:03 | Link to Comment HCSKnight
HCSKnight's picture

Hmmmm... "Like my family, many Croton residents dropped cable and satelite satelitte TV dish subscriptions....  This was a year ago.  Today we have  FiOS phone and internet,which is great BTW, but no TV.  For me this meant going back to Cablevision and wasting time, again, changing providers."

When I read the above I thought "whoever is writing this isnt very smart"... and stopped.  Why read any thoughts from someone so,... {Im trying to find a kind word}, so, so... Uh, I just cant find one.  Stupid is the only word that fits.

With that, the credibility of the whole post becomes... well, I'd be stupid to put any confidence in what the post is putting forth.  So why read any further...






Sun, 11/01/2009 - 00:30 | Link to Comment dnarby
dnarby's picture

I live on Staten Island, and while their Internet service is slightly better than Time Warner, Verizon has mysteriously decided to provide slightly less HDTV service for slightly more money than TW.  They seemed to have relied upon dissatisfaction with TW to provide a customer base.

Not exactly the smartest marketing plan.

Sun, 11/01/2009 - 06:02 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 11/01/2009 - 11:46 | Link to Comment Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

Yes "anonymous," it is Government TV because it is Corporate Owned Governance.

That is the beauty of oligarchy business models.

Lower output, poorer quality at.... drum roll please... higher prices.

A dead weight loss to society.

You take abnormal oligarchy rigged market profits and buy politicians, subvert or buy competitors, plow money into advertising. All of which creates barriers to entry for competitors and protects oligarchy advantage.

Every one of the above activities, advertising, buying politicians, buying or torpedoing competitors are all examples of misallocated resource and wasted on what otherwise would have been investment, product and price quality improvements for the public that proper market competition would have provided.

Advertising, buying politicians, buying or torpedoing competitors are all dead weight losses to society (Jamie Dimon and Robert Rubin's careers anyone?).

Long live the "US Corporate Non Competitive Oligarchy Model."

Works for banks, works for health insurance, works for cable, works for communications, cell, internet ... well you get the point.

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 23:20 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sat, 10/31/2009 - 23:18 | Link to Comment Bruce Krasting
Bruce Krasting's picture

Go figure this out. I live two miles from RCW in Croton on Hudson. I have had FIOS tv for one year.  The reason is that I live on the Yorktown side of Croton. Is Verizon running out of money or are the red-lining Croton? Come over anytime and watch tv.



Sat, 10/31/2009 - 23:17 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sat, 10/31/2009 - 22:39 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sun, 11/01/2009 - 11:30 | Link to Comment Problem Is
Problem Is's picture

I smell Verizon SOCK PUPPET.

Thanks "anonymous" for your pro corporate shill opine...

Sat, 10/31/2009 - 22:35 | Link to Comment Anonymous
Sat, 10/31/2009 - 22:25 | Link to Comment Fibozachi
Fibozachi's picture

Thanks for the well-written post rc whalen. Westchester has been waiting over 2 years now to no avail either! 

Telecom was the only sector to trade positively last week with a 0.7% gain ... in a nuclear winter, much like the '00 - '02 period has been termed, telecom tends to outperform as a refuge alongside consumer staples; biotech tends to outperform in the latter-most phase

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