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Verizon Targets Cable Customers With $99 FiOS Promo

Verizon is launching an aggressive customer-acquisition promotion for the second quarter of 2009, touting an "ultimate home upgrade" aimed at cable customers that offers $150 cash back and a FiOS triple-play bundle at $99 per month for two years.

The deal makes it "easy and affordable to switch from old-fashioned cable to the power of Verizon's advanced all-fiber-optic network and FiOS services," the company says in its marketing materials for the promo, announced Tuesday.

The $99 bundle includes unlimited calling in the U.S., 10-Mbps downstream / 2-Mbps upstream Internet and FiOS TV Essentials, which provides an HD lineup limited to local broadcast channels (up to 17 depending on market).

Verizon also will pitch a $109-per-month bundle, which includes the TV Extreme package with up to 71 HD channels and the 20 down / 5 up FiOS Internet tier. 

New customers ordering a FiOS service bundle by June 20 and committing to a two-year contract will receive $150 back in the form of a prepaid Visa debit card, plus free premium installation that includes home-networking setup.

Verizon spokesman Bill Kula noted that 35% of the telco's wireline customers nationwide move residences between mid-April and the end of June, which serves "as the impetus for this new push."

While Verizon promises installation will be free, it charges a $34.99 activation fee for FiOS services. In addition, if customers terminate their contract before the two-year period expires, a $179 fee applies. Verizon also notes that the fees may change after the 24-month promotional period.

Verizon reported 1.9 million FiOS TV customers at the end of 2008, and said the FiOS triple-play is available to about 9.3 million households. The telco is scheduled to report its first-quarter results next Monday, April 27.

In a promotion aimed at consumers in areas where FiOS is unavailable, Verizon is offering the "synthetic bundle" of DSL, phone and DirecTV service starting at $79.99 per month with a two-year contract along with $150 cash back.

Those who order Verizon DSL by June 20 may also take advantage of one free phone consultation with the company's premium technical support team within 30 days of their order, which the telco said is a $90 value.