Verizon–be “future-proofed”?

Verizon is at it again.
Trying to legislate it’s way to profit.
What will future proofing do for YOU?

There will be a Public hearing on May 18th on Senate Bill S 1687 at the State House in Boston.


Public Hearing on S 1687 Coming on May 18, 2011
Bill Proposes setting up a State Cable Licensing System and ending our current Local Cable Licensing System

Current Law Is Very Effective

  • Massachusetts’ Cable Act (Chapter 166A) has long protected the interests of the people of the Commonwealth.
    The statute provides a model for meaningful negotiations between cities and towns and large corporations during licensing.
  • One current benefit ensures that Massachusetts residents have access to their local elected and appointed officials as well as state representatives and senators by means of public, educational and governmental “PEG” channels.
  • There is no reason to gut and destroy a system that has, and continues to, provide so much value to the people of Massachusetts.

Verizon Fails To Establish A Predicate For Action – Current Law Has Served Them Well.

  • Verizon has successfully rolled out its television service in roughly 110 Massachusetts communities.
  • Verizon has never been denied a license in Massachusetts, but Verizon has refused to negotiate with some cities in the Commonwealth.
  • Verizon makes no promises that, should this legislation be adopted, it will serve all communities in the Commonwealth, a promise that the company has been willing to make in other states where it was also the local telephone company.

Legislative Proposal Jeopardizes Current Obligations

  • Legislation allows cable operators to escape the mandatory and beneficial provisions of 166A, by making those mandatory provisions avoidable “…by agreement with an issuing authority.”
  • In New Jersey, Verizon sponsored similar legislation, then sought to renege on its statutory franchise obligations to provide free connections to government buildings and support of PEG channel operations.

Legislation Proposes a Shot Clock Timetable That is Not Workable

  • It can take longer than 90 days to identify local cable needs, including development of capital and operating budgets for long term licenses.
  • Artificially limiting a time for negotiations can have the effect of tying the hands of local officials to get the best license for their communities.

Verizon Seeks To Reduce Traditional License Obligations To Their Benefit And At Expense Of PEG Operations

  • Bill limits access payments to “on or before March fifteenth…” rather than on the current quarterly payment or other flexible schedule.
    This could be unworkable in some communities.
  • Bill sets up a system where a new company can come in and get PEG signals at the expense of the incumbent company – which could seek relief via litigation – thereby jeopardizing the ability of all cable subscribers to obtain their local programming.
  • Bill would place a cap on negotiating funding for capital equipment that Verizon has not required in any other state.


Let them know you are concerned about this proposed bill by May 19.

You can also contact the hosts of the public hearing,

  • The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilties and Energy, at 617-722-2263.
admin posted at 2011-5-12 Category: Uncategorized

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