Verizon’s FiOS TV Launches in Texas

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New York -- Verizon Communications launched its FiOS TV video product last week to a small number of trial homes in Keller, Texas, executive director of investor relations Tom Buzi told attendees at a financial conference here Thursday afternoon.

The regional Bell operating company -- which is supplying the video content to trial homes in Keller free-of-charge -- expects to commercially deploy FiOS TV in the late third quarter or early fourth quarter of 2005, Buzi added.

Verizon director of interactive TV Steve Haire told a reporter after the Ferris Baker Watts Inc. conference that the company hasn’t yet launched interactive-TV content in Keller. He gave attendees an overview of FiOS TV’s interactive-TV strategy, demonstrating how customers will be able to access interactive sports tickers and other content from any channel.

Haire said FiOS TV will allow subscribers to share home videos edited on a PC with friends and family that are also FiOS TV customers. While FiOS TV would support short text-messaging on the TV between customers, he added, Verizon won’t offer Internet access and e-mail access through the TV, noting that he believed those applications work better on a PC.

Interactive shopping will be another key component of FiOS TV, Haire said, giving the example that Verizon could allow viewers to buy a vacuum cleaner from Target.com (www.target.com) with a few clicks of the remote. The customers would receive a short text message on the bottom of their TV screen confirming the purchase, and they’ll also be told to check their e-mail on a PC for a more detailed report of the transaction, Haire explained.

Haire said Verizon also hopes to offer its customers the ability to download high-definition DVDs directly from movie studios.

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