U.S. phone company Verizon Communications Inc. said it plans to offer high-definition video on demand over its advanced Internet and video service called FiOS, strengthening its video and online services, which are being introduced through an all-fibre network in order to present a competitive option against all-in-one video, Internet and phone service packages offered by rival cable television providers.

The FiOS service already includes multiple high-definition channels and video on demand, and Verizon Chief Technology Officer Mark Wegleitner said it was almost ready to launch a combination of the two features. "I don't think there are technical obstacles," Wegleitner told reporters late on Monday in Chicago, on the sidelines of the NXTcomm communications conference. "The network could support it now."
Analysts say Verizonís advanced video and Internet network is costing the company approximately three times more than that paid out be rival AT&T for its similar service offered through existing copper lines. Wegleitner defended the companyís decision to integrate full fibre across the existing FiOS network via its FTTP (fiber to the premises) process, citing that copper lines brought "inherent limitations" with them, while the integration of fibre provided "more head room."

The company has said it plans to invest $18 billion into the FiOS network between 2004 and 2010 and hopes to make the service available to 9 million homes by the end of 2007, and 18 million by the end of 2010.