Verizon's FIOS Allowed to Crash Philly's Cable Market

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Comcast better watch out because a new competitor is coming to town.

Philadelphia City Council has opened its 2009 session with a committee approving a plan by Verizon Communications Inc. to build a $1 billion fiber-optic TV and Internet network in the city.

It was the third hearing since early December on Verizon's plan to offer FIOS in the city that is home to its competitor, Comcast, the nation's largest cable television provider.

Council members said that they want Philadelphians to have pay-TV choices. But some have voiced concerns about Verizon's buildout schedule and whether minority-owned firms will get a piece of the pie.

Concerns were also raised about the extent of Verizon's commitment to public-access programming.

Philly Mayor Michael Nutter supports the Verizon proposal.

Verizon vows to complete the FIOS television network within seven years.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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