The Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved legislation authorizing Verizon Communications to offer FiOS TV service to city residents and businesses, setting the stage for a new competitor take on incumbent cable operator Comcast.
Verizon said it expected Pittsburgh residents to able to order FiOS TV service within the next few weeks.
The telco in July reached a tentative agreement with the city on a 10-year cable franchise, under which Verizon will make FiOS TV available throughout the city within six years. The legislation requires approval by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
"Today's city council approval of Verizon's cable TV franchise will finally bring Pittsburghers the choice and competition they want and deserve for pay-TV service," Verizon Pennsylvania president Gale Given said in a statement. "And Verizon is eager to begin offering city residents FiOS TV, an award-winning, superior alternative to their current cable TV service, with more high-definition channels than Comcast and innovative interactive features cable companies don't provide."
Comcast's 10-year franchise agreement with the city expires at the end of 2009. Verizon will pay 5% of gross revenue to Pittsburgh, the same franchise fee Comcast pays. Verizon has offered FiOS TV service in several Pittsburgh suburbs since the fall of 2007.