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Verizon Chief Says Carriers Poised For Video Growth

LAS VEGAS — Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon chairman and chief executive, told the National Association of Broadcasters' conference that expanded local exchange carriers were poised to surpass cable-TV multisystem operators in reaching broad content deals with broadcast studios.

Seidenberg said the combination of Verizon's Vcast wireless multicast distribution method for carrying streaming video over cellphones and its "FiOS" fiber-to-the-home buildout "give us all the broadband options" to successfully offer a mix of HDTV, IPTV and PVR services, including distributed networked video services to the home.

Seidenberg said investment in broadband wireless and passive optical network technologies at Verizon amounted to $23 billion over five years, "which is $22 billion more than the top five cable providers combined."

Franchise relationships for content distribution are being signed by Verizon on a piecemeal basis with municipal and state governments, Seidenberg said, though broadcasters must help telephony service providers to develop consistent federal franchising rules to ease and accelerate communications carriers' moves into video distribution.