Verizon Communications Tuesday was granted a video franchise from the town board of Babylon, N.Y., which will let the telco pitch FiOS TV to nine communities in the heart of Cablevision Systems’ territory.
In addition to the nine Babylon communities—Copaigue, Deer Park, East Farmingdale, North Amityville, North Babylon, North Lindenhurst, West Babylon, Wheatley Heights and Wyandanch—the Nassau County villages of Roslyn and Manorhaven both granted franchises toVerizon last month.
The three new franchises bring to 119 the total number of New York municipalities that have approved video franchises for Verizon—including the biggest one of all, New York City.
“This is great news for residents of Roslyn, Manorhaven and the nine communities within the Town of Babylon, who now will have a new choice for their video entertainment,” Verizon senior vice president for New York and Connecticut Monica Azare said, in a statement.
“Consumers in these communities will be able to choose their cable provider as easily as they choose their phone company. Competition like this drives innovation, value and service quality, and we will continue to compete aggressively for business on Long Island,” she said.
The Babylon franchise gives Verizon access to around 69,000 households, according to the 2000 U.S. census.
Cablevision spokesman Patrick MacElroy said in a statement, “Cablevision has been successful in Babylon, and across our service area, because we offer customers the best television, Internet and phone products at the greatest value.”
MacElroy noted that Verizon has raised rates on the FiOS TV Premier package by 20% in two years, with “another announced rate increase on the way.” In addition, he said, Verizon “locks most customers into long-term contracts with steep cancellation penalties, and has been plagued by operational issues like billing errors and making some customers wait months for HD.”
As with all franchise approvals in New York, Verizon’s latest agreements must be approved by the New York State Public Service Commission.