Verizon vs. Goliath

Verizon wants to give Philadelphia a choice by taking on cable giant Comcast.

Thursday, the Nutter administration sent City Council a bill to permit Verizon to lay its own fiber in the city limits and take on Comcast according to Verizon spokeswoman Sharon Schaffer.

So now the City Council will consider the ordinance and subsequently vote on whether to approve it.
Although Comcast’s corporate headquarters towers over the city, it's right to offer cable television service is not exclusive in Philadelphia.

City councilman Darrell Clarke, who introduced the bill on behalf of the Nutter administration, feels competition is not a bad thing.

"Verizon, based on their aggressive stance in the suburban counties, feels that they will be able to move into (this) market, and create the competition that will ultimately lead to a decrease in rates for customers" according to Clarke.

"Philadelphia residents for too long have suffered from a lack of choice for their cable TV news, information and entertainment," said Gale Y. Given, president of Verizon Pennsylvania.  "We will change that in a big way, with a significant investment over the next seven years.

Comcast is not worried about new competition.

"They're trying to play catch-up, and that won't be an easy feat." said Comcast spokesman Jeff Alexander.

Under the agreement, Verizon will offer service to approximately one-third of the residences in the city within three years of the agreement's effective date, and 70 percent within five years. 

The initial service area will include parts of West, North and South Philadelphia, as well as Germantown and the Greater Northeast.

Verizon has been offering Fios-TV in the four suburban counties in the past two years. 

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