Verizon rushes to wire New York

Fending off rivals, and with city's support, Verizon rushes to lay fiber cable to compete on cable, video and Internet.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

Verizon is in a tight race with competing broadband cable companies to be the company New Yorkers turn to for their cable and phone services, reports The New York Times.

Rushing to wire New York City neighborhoods with fiber optic, Verizon is building a new state-of-the-art network in order to fend off rivals like Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Comcast and Vonage, who are busily signing up customers. NYC is a particularly lucrative market as New Yorkers are avid buyers of video, Internet and phone services.

“The guys understand the importance of this fiber project,” said Robert Fighera, a lineman and chief union steward in the Bronx, nodding to the workmen nearby. “We’re also stockholders, and we know we have to install this or we’ll fall by the wayside of all these other companies.”

It's well-known that the company has the City's government in its pocket, since it has long-term contracts to provde all of city government's telecom news. Thus, when Verizon wants to compete in cable TV with longterm providers Cablevision and Time Warner, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg asked the City Council to approve a measure that would allow the city to start negotiating new cable franchises.

“Competition among cable providers is a win for the city’s cable subscribers,” said Paul J. Cosgrave, the commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, the agency that negotiates with Verizon and other companies interested in a franchise.
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