Verizon Cable Franchise Agreement
Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010
Sept. 26, 2005
Board of Supervisors Approves Verizon Cable Franchise Agreement
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors today approved a 15-year franchise agreement with Verizon Virginia Inc. to provide cable service to FairfaxCounty residents. The approval makes Fairfax County the largest locality in the country to obtain cable services from Verizon. The Board of Supervisors approved the agreement after a public hearing where almost two dozen residents voiced their opinions.
Federal law requires cable companies to obtain a cable franchise from local authorities before providing cable service in a locality. Fairfax County also currently has cable franchise agreements with Cox Communications of Northern Virginia, which serves the majority of the county, and with Comcast of Virginia, which provides service to residents in Reston. Verizon will provide cable service in all areas of the county.
“Competition will be a good thing for consumers,” said Gerald E. Connolly, Board of Supervisors chairman. “For the first time, FairfaxCounty residents will now have a choice with this franchise with Verizon for their cable services. We also believe this agreement can be a model for other localities to follow when negotiating with Verizon as it stressed a level playing field among the competition while allowing a quick entry into the marketplace.”
Verizon plans to begin providing service to some areas by late 2005, and it will be required to offer service by 2012 to the same percentage of homes in the county that is served by Cox and Comcast. Verizon is already in the process of installing a new fiber optic cabling network, as authorized by the state, to replace its copper wire telephone network. The new fiber optic network has the bandwidth capability for video services, as well as voice and Internet services.
The Board of Supervisors revised its Communications Ordinance in 2001 to attract competition to the cable television market in the county. The Verizon franchise agreement is consistent with the county’s agreements with Cox and Comcast to maintain a level playing field among the competing cable providers, as required by state law. This includes a commitment to provide cable service throughout the franchise area; a term of 15 years; customer service standards; provision for public, educational and government channels; and franchise fee payments to the county.
To view Verizon’s application for a cable television franchise; the franchise agreement; and a comparison between Verizon, Cox and Comcast cable franchise provisions, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cable. For more information, contact the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711. The documents also are available for review at public library branches throughout the county.