Three months after enacting legislation that transfers responsibility for video franchising to the state public utilities commission (PUC), California awarded its first-ever state-wide video license to Verizon Communications, which intends to roll out its FiOS TV service to the first of 45 southern California cities covered by the statewide license in a matter of days. California is one of nine states—the others being Texas, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia—that have adopted statewide video franchising or have enacted reforms to speed or streamline the traditional county-by-county franchise process. Similar legislation is pending in 14 other states. Verizon, which provides service to 2.4 million homes in southern California, is the second largest wireline phone carrier in the state. Observers say that the California PUC approved Verizon’s state franchise application within days of receipt, and the PUC is expected to act with similar speed on a state franchise request that was filed last week by AT&T, the state’s largest local exchange carrier. Verizon already offers FiOS TV service in 18 California communities where it had previously won local franchise approval, and says it intends to spend $18 billion to expand FiOS network coverage to 40% of its local exchange customers in 28 states by the end of this decade.