Yes, Virginia, There Is a Verizon Franchise

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Verizon Communications Inc. has earned its first Virginia franchise, in Herndon.

The Town Council approved the pact Tuesday night for the Washington, D.C., suburb with a population of 22,000. Verizon will compete there as a cable provider against Cox Communications Inc.

The telco earned a 15-year franchise, and it will provide video service to the entire town once its fiber-to-the-premise architecture is completed. Verizon has committed to support public, education and government channels, including the local-access corporation, Herndon Community Television.

This is Verizon's seventh cable franchise, joining Beaumont, Calif.; Wylie, Keller, Sachse and Westlake, Texas; and Temple Terrace, Fla. Verizon plans to launch video service first in Keller, where it is currently being tested. The launch is tentatively planned for later this year.

Verizon Virginia president Robert Woltz Jr. commended the town officials for their hard work on the franchise process. "We look forward to similarly successful negotiations with other Virginia jurisdictions as we move forward," he said in a prepared statement.

Verizon reportedly has proposals before several counties around Washington, D.C.