New resident Tom had asked in the comments last night when Verizon FiOS might become an option for cable subscribers in town. I could only tell him there is a public hearing scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Sept. 30 on the issue, but the on-the-ball Grafton Cable Advisory Committee was kind enough to send me some more information before I even had a chance to ask them about it!
The CAC is especially asking those who have made use of public access services at Grafton Community Television to attend the hearing and talk about their experience.
“Negotiations between the town and Verizon have proceeded very promptly,”
according to Cable Advisory Committee Chairman Robert Hassinger. “We hope that citizens will understand that this September 30th public hearing is an important milestone in the licensing process. The Cable Advisory Committee wants town residents to participate and to be able to discuss the cable television license agreement that has been proposed with Verizon. This is an opportunity for Grafton residents to have their say as the Board of Selectmen and the town get closer to approving this agreement.”
The Cable Advisory Committee has been negotiating with Verizon since early May. The proposed license agreement is available at the Town Clerk’s office, or you could just look online here. (I LOVE how much information the town puts on its Web site)
The CAC also forwarded me this fact sheet if you don’t want to actually wade through the contract:
Proposed Cable Television License
Between The Town of Grafton, Massachusetts
and Verizon New England, Inc.
Town of Grafton will give a ten (10) year cable television license to Verizon.
Verizon shall offer cable service to a substantial number of residential households served by Verizon’s aerial plant, and may make cable service available to businesses in the service area, within twelve (12) months of the license date, and shall offer cable service to all residential households in the service area within four (4) years of the license date.
Verizon shall connect all residential units within 250 feet of trunk or feeder lines at no charge.
Verizon shall provide basic cable (TV) service and an outlet at no cost to designated public buildings in Grafton including public schools, police and fire stations, public libraries.
Verizon agrees to provide the three (3) channels of PEG Access – Public Access, Educational Access, and Government Access, provided by Grafton Community Television. Verizon is not required to provide the PEG Access Channels immediately, but must provide the three Grafton PEG Access Channels within 180 days of the license date.
Verizon shall provide a grant to support local PEG programming in the amount of $106,000 payable as follows: $56,000 within 60 days, $25,000 on the 2nd anniversary of the license, $25,000 on the 3rd anniversary of the license.
Verizon shall make annual payments to the town of 5% of gross revenue and a license fee of $0.50 per subscriber per year.
Verizon shall maintain a toll-free number to receive all calls and inquiries from subscribers in the Town and/or residents regarding cable service. Verizon representatives trained and qualified to answer questions related to cable service in the service area must be available to receive reports of service interruptions twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week, and other inquiries at least forty-five (45) hours per week.