TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Verizon Close to Cable Deal: Draft License Agreement Would Give

Verizon Close to Cable Deal: Draft License Agreement Would Give

Monty Solomon (
Sun, 22 Jan 2006 13:12:32 -0500

Verizon close to cable deal: Draft license agreement would give
Sudbury extra $100K, local programs

By Stacey Hart / Daily News Staff
Sunday, January 22, 2006 - Updated: 12:39 AM EST

SUDBURY -- The town is finalizing a draft cable television license
with Verizon, which would require the company to carry Sudbury's local
cable channel programming and give the town about $100,000 a year.
"They gave us an initial application that was a little light on
details," said Jeff Winston, chairman of the Cable Television
Committee. In August, the selectmen approved negotiations to begin
with Verizon after a request was made by the company to offer cable
and Internet services to Sudbury. Comcast is currently Sudbury's cable
and Internet provider, and Verizon is the telephone service for the
town. Verizon has begun introducing its new fiber-optic services to
cities and towns in Massachusetts, which would provide high-speed
Internet access, improved telephone service and cable television

The town has until March 6 to submit its proposal. The selectmen plan
to discuss and vote on sending the draft license to Verizon at their
meeting on Feb. 28 at 7:45 p.m. The cable committee, working with
special counsel, presented the selectmen with a draft license at the
board's meeting last week. Winston said one thing that guided the
committee through drafting a license was making sure there was a level
playing field for both Verizon and Comcast.

"If we don't do that, Comcast has some rights that allow them to
re-discuss their terms with us," he said. The draft license requires
Verizon to provide financial support to the town for its local cable
channels, 8 and 9, similar to the support received by Comcast. The
Comcast license specifies about $70,000 must be spent annually on the
local cable channels, which includes staff salary, benefits, operating
expenses, repair, maintenance and technical support. Since Comcast
already provides Sudbury with a studio and equipment to tape and
broadcast meetings and events, the town is asking Verizon to provide a
cash payment equal to those services.

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