Verizon Snags Tampa FiOS TV Franchise

Verizon Communications Inc. landed another big fish for its FiOS TV deployment, winning a service franchise for Tampa, Fla.

The Tampa City Council Thursday approved a 15-year FiOS TV franchise to offer service to its 333,000 residents. That puts it squarely in competition with Bright House Networks.

Verizon already secured TV franchises in the Florida communities of Temple Terrace, Manatee County, Bradenton, Hillsborough County and Pasco County. With Tampa, its FiOS TV service will pass more than 1.5 million residents in the Sunshine State.

The first phase of the Tampa FiOS TV rollout will reach a potential 35,000 households in an area including Sulphur Springs, Seminole Heights, Hyde Park and Palma Ceia. That rollout should begin shortly, and the plan is to extend the service to the entire city by 2011.

Verizon also agreed to provide six PEG-access (public, educational and government) channels, as well as a $1 million commitment to the city and ongoing support for PEG-access channels. And it will provide cable service to more than 170 public schools and some government buildings at no cost.