Verizon Will Spend $1.5B in NJ

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As if to demonstrate that franchise reform provides telcos the ability to invest with confidence in their networks--hint, hint to Congress--Verizon Friday said that it was investing $1.5 billion to build a fiber network in New Jersey.

The announcement came as the governor of the state was signing a law that streamlines the franchise process. A federal law doing the same thing has passed in the House but is having tougher sledding in the Senate, where it faces a filibuster over the issue of network neutrality.

“New Jersey’s new law allowing us to offer television service in the state provides all the justification we need to go full speed ahead to bring fiber optics directly to customers – something no other company is doing,” said Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg.

Verizon said its FiOS video service will be available to 3.5 million New Jersey residents by 2008.

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