Jul 27, 2010 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
Companies will compete to provide cable-TV service; village to share revenue
For 18 months, the village of Liverpool has been negotiating with Verizon Communications after the company expressed interest in establishing a new non-exclusive fiber-optic cable television franchise here as it has in other area municipalities.
“The sticking points have now been resolved,” Mayor Gary White reported at the June 21 meeting of the village board of trustees.
Village Attorney John Langey clarified the definition of “gross revenue” with Verizon officials, he said, “and now the village will get what it asked for.” Verizon representative Richard Hillstrom, who attended the June 21 meeting, said his company will pay the village a percentage of revenues it receives for advertising and for home shopping activity via cable TV.
Verizon Communications already provides Internet and telephone service here, and now it also offers fiber-optic cable TV. In 2005, Verizon began laying its fiber-optic lines in Central NY as part if its nationwide debut of FiOS, a suite of services including phone, high-speed Internet and television.
This month, company salespeople applied for solicitation permits to pitch Liverpool residents door-to-door.
The trustees unanimously approved the Verizon FiOS franchise here June 21, and in mid-July the New York Public Service Commission also OK’d the agreement. Mayor White pointed out that Time Warner had to agree as well.
On July 19, the trustees conducted a public hearing to consider renewing the village’s franchise agreement with Time Warner for cable television service. “Time Warner agreed to same language as Verizon did regarding the revenue stream,” White said.
At the June 21 meeting, Fourth Street resident Mark Cavanaugh, who works as a Verizon technician, applauded the trustees’ decision.
“This is a new opportunity to add revenue stream for the village from Verizon’s video service,” Cavanaugh said. “The type of network we put up really is the wave of the future, so this is a great thing for our village, and the competition should result in substantial savings.”
A letter from Second Street resident Mark Spadafore was read into the record. Spadafore favored the Verizon agreement because, he wrote, additional TV channels will be available.
Before making the Verizon vote unanimous, Trustee Dennis Hebert expressed some reluctance.
“I don’t want to approve anything that could blow up in our faces down the road,” Hebert said. Over the course of negotiations, Verizon had failed to promptly answer trustees’ questions, he said, and the company’s lack of response concerned him. Hebert was also frustrated by the lack of firm revenue figures.
White said, “We could get anywhere from ten cents to ten million dollars.”
“But we haven’t gotten it in a year,” Hebert said sarcastically, “so why should we get it now?”
Nevertheless, he joined his fellow trustees to vote in favor of the franchise agreement.
The village board meets again at 7 p.m. Aug. 16 to conduct a public hearing about a proposed change to the signage code.
“Our sign ordinances need to be more user-friendly,” White said.
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