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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 12, 2008 at 4:15 PM

Verizon update: FiOS TV coming to the Eastside

This will give some Eastsiders something to be smug about: They already get the region’s fastest residential Internet service from Verizon’s fiber optic network, and soon they’ll get TV service over the same pipe.

During a meeting with Verizon representatives this morning, it came out that TV service is likely to be available to FiOS customers by the end of 2008.

It’s not for sure and nothing’s ready to be announced yet — expect to hear the company talk first about expanding the reach of FiOS broadband — but it sounds as if the company is mulling a regional video hub in Everett that would power the TV service.

This still isn’t true Internet protocol TV — it’s still more akin to cable service — but it’s frosting on the cake for the lucky few people around here who can get fiber-to-the-home broadband. At the end of 2007, the FiOS service reached 137,000 homes in an arc from the Eastside north into Snohomish County.

FiOS bundles, with broadband, phone and 150 high-def TV channels, probably will be about $95 a month.

The pricing would be similar to the DirectTV-DSL-phone bundle offered by Qwest elsewhere in the region, but it’s less than half as fast as FiOS broadband and the TV service requires a satellite dish.

Seattleites aren’t likely to see fiber to the home soon, unless Verizon gets a wild hair and buys Qwest, or decides to piggyback on the city’s glacial effort to develop a residential fiber network.

But who knows, maybe the state broadband resource mapping project, which was approved by the Legislature today, will speed things along.

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