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Verizon Touts Broadband, Video Growth

Verizon Communications pointed to the initial success of its fiber-based FiOS video and data network as it reported its third-quarter 2006 financial results, and said the FiOS additions are helping to offset its gradually eroding business in providing traditional phone service.

The telco had 118,000 FiOS TV customers at the end of Q3, an an average 10% penetration for the markets where it's available. It added 147,00 FiOS Internet customers in the quarter for a total of 522,000 customers using the fiber network for their data services.

Overall, Verizon added 448,000 broadband connections in the quarter, counting both FiOS Internet Service and DSL customers, for a total broadband customer base of 6.6 million (an increase of 45.1 percent compared with the third quarter 2005). Over the past year, Verizon says it has added more than 2 million net new DSL and FiOS Internet customers.

Taking a broad look at Verizon's consumer business, the company said it added 120,000 more net broadband and video customers during the third quarter than it lost in primary wireline voice access lines, reflecting the defection of customers to wireless, cable or Internet protocol (IP) services.Primary residential access lines decreased by 419,000 in the third quarter 2006, compared with the second quarter 2006, while Verizon added 539,000 residential broadband and video customers, including customers with DIRECTV bundles, over the same period.

Verizon posted revenues of $23.3 billion for the quarter, a 25.8% jump from the previous year, and earnings of $1.9 billion, or 66 cents per diluted share, compared with $1.9 billion, or 67 cents per share, in the third quarter 2005.