NEW YORK – Verizon Communications Inc. is expanding the area where it provides television service over fiber-optic cables, adding homes in Massachusetts and New York for the first time.
The telephone company planned to announce Tuesday that it would immediately start taking orders for its FiOS TV service in Woburn, Mass., and Massapequa Park on New York's Long Island.
FiOS TV is already available in 14 towns in Texas, one in Florida and one in Virginia.
Verizon hasn't specified how many subscribers it has for its TV service so far but said that 20 percent of the homes in Keller, a suburb of Dallas, that were eligible for the service had signed up between the launch on Sept. 22 and the end of the year.
Verizon has been building out a fiber-optic network in several states to replace its copper wires for telephone and Internet service.
Competitor AT&T Inc., the renamed SBC Communications, has launched its own TV service over fiber-optic cable to a limited number of households in San Antonio, where it is based.
Verizon's technology is similar to traditional cable service, with the company broadcasting programming through the fiber-optic cables.
AT&T has opted for a different method, more akin to Internet service, where each set-top box receives a tailored stream of data. The different approach appears to have delayed AT&T's deployment.
To provide television service, the telephone companies must apply for local or state video franchises.
New York-based Verizon said franchises for the villages of Nyack and South Nyack in New York's Rockland County are under review by the state's Public Service Commission, and the company hopes to offer service there soon. It is in negotiations with 30 communities in Massachusetts to obtain more franchises.
FiOS TV costs $44.90 a month for a set-top box with a basic lineup of 180 channels, including at least 20 in high definition. Installation is free for up to three television sets.