For a few years now, there has been talk about phone
companies successfully competing with cable companies for your TV programming dollar. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg’s speech at CES seems indicate that company
is well down the path to competition by wiring 3 million homes so far with plans
to double that by the end of this year.

At that pace, they will be one of the
largest broadband companies in the nation in just a few years, competing with
the likes of Time Warner and Comcast to be one of the largest national
providers.

That means greater access to faster surfing and more TV
choices for more households.  Verizon has an opportunity to be the most seamless
broadband operator, coupling its EVDO wireless high-speed network with its wired
fiber network to serve customers no matter how or where they choose to connect. 

We all know the promise of broadband, and Verizon has focused on its power with
new offerings like VCAST, a wireless music service, and FiOS TV, which debuted
in Texas last
year.

I personally love EVDO since I travel a lot.  And,
despite some mediocre reviews that focused mostly on the fact that it uses
Windows Mobile, I plan to jump in and get the Treo 700w that was just released. 

It’s that kind of innovation I hope we can continue to expect from Verizon –
something I didn’t imagine a few years ago that I might say about any local
phone company. 
The key, of course, is for the promise to become reality.  The numbers Verizon offered demonstrate progress that, if it continues, would be good news for consumers looking for new solutions and offerings. If Seidenberg succeeds at his mission, we may finally be able to realize true competition in the broadband provider space.