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dynodb
Premium,VIP
join:2004-04-21
Minneapolis, MN
reply to Karl Bode

Re: Gee, which side are you on Karl?

I'm on my own side; video isn't a major part of Qwest's business and the franchising issue has little or no affect on my employer at all. You see I have cable at home, and am paying rather high rates due to the Minneapolis city-imposed cable franchise monopoly in my town. Franching limits competition, and thus hurts the consumer- me.

As far as the city of Tampa suggesting it's merely a "dream list". Yeah, right; how naive would a person have to be to buy that story? Sounds like when the mafia shows up at your door asking you to pay for "fire insurance". They don't include written demands either, but it's implied that you'd better pay it- or else.

This story was worth front page submission, but your one-sided, biased misrepresentation of it was not.

Verizon initially stated that they (very reasonably and almost certainly correctly) interpreted the list as implied demands by the city- the city was asking for things in the course of a negotiation.

If later Verizon backed down, it was most likely for the same reason they agreed to supply items on the "wish list" in the first place- in order to get franchise approval.

If Verizon isn't the type of company to apologise for nothing, I doubt they're the type of company to spend $13 million dollars in "gifts" just as a favor without expecting something in return- namely franchise approval.

Tampa claims that the FCC misrepresented the facts, the FCC says they didn't... but they both agree that $13 million dollars in items (including the cameras in question) were asked for and received in the course of franchise negotiations. Given that the only dispute is whether it was an actual demand or voluntary request, it's beyond misleading to state as fact that the FCC version was "made up" as you implied since there was basis in fact to support the FCC side.



Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

quote:
As far as the city of Tampa suggesting it's merely a "dream list". Yeah, right; how naive would a person have to be to buy that story?
Since it's the truth, I have no idea. I've already clarified your misinterpretation in my post above: Florida requires that franchise income expenditure is itemized to show where revenue will go. Verizon misrepresented this as a franchise demand, then retracted and apologized. The FCC then used the misrepresented "demand" as fodder in political efforts that demonize localized franchise negotiation to pass telco-friendly legislation. Big long posts declaring otherwise do not somehow shift reality.


jslik
That just happened
Premium
join:2006-03-17
reply to dynodb

said by dynodb:

I'm on my own side; video isn't a major part of Qwest's business and the franchising issue has little or no affect on my employer at all. You see I have cable at home, and am paying rather high rates due to the Minneapolis city-imposed cable franchise monopoly in my town. Franching limits competition, and thus hurts the consumer- me.
You do realize that you implicitly rebutted your own argument in the same paragraph?

"video isn't a major part of Qwest's business and the franchising issue has little or no affect on my employer at all. You see I have cable at home, and am paying rather high rates due to the Minneapolis city-imposed cable franchise monopoly in my town."

...and why is Qwest not offering video in a major way? Is it local franchising, or the fact that a major rollout would be billions, which Qwest doesn't have? It's economics, not local franchising, that is preventing real competition. The telcos were specifically given 4 ways of entering the video market in the 1996 Telecom Act, and they told Congress that with the passage, they'd get into video. They've done squat. That's local government's fault now?

said by dynodb:

As far as the city of Tampa suggesting it's merely a "dream list". Yeah, right; how naive would a person have to be to buy that story?
Obviously, you don't know how these negotiations take place. Go do some research between what cities asked for initially and what they actually got.


Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39

All good points -- as an aside Qwest has an RFP out considering video delivery and I believe they've pushed for a statewide franchise in Colorado which impacts them video or no -- so yeah, Qwest is very much interested in how this plays out.


dynodb
Premium,VIP
join:2004-04-21
Minneapolis, MN

I'm sure Qwest is quite interested, but for right now it's not having a big impact on their business, and certainly isn't affecting my employement- that was the only point I was trying to make since you implied that my opinion was perhaps colored by my employer whom I do not represent in any way- my opinions are my own.


dynodb
Premium,VIP
join:2004-04-21
Minneapolis, MN
reply to Karl Bode

It's the truth according to the the city of Tampa- not according to Verizon's initial complaint to the FCC or the Wall Street Journal story. If you choose to believe Tampa, fine- you're entitled to your opinion. I find the city's account pretty fishy.

I just ask as a reader that the article be represented somewhat fairly- something you didn't do here. It's pretty clear that the FCC didn't "make up the story entirely" as you implied, nor did the city of Tampa accuse them of doing so in the article.

I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, I'm just asking for a little more objectivity.


dynodb
Premium,VIP
join:2004-04-21
Minneapolis, MN
reply to jslik

said by jslik:

Obviously, you don't know how these negotiations take place. Go do some research between what cities asked for initially and what they actually got.
Maybe, maybe not- I'm not a negotiator.

However, you didn't find this a bit... questionable?

Smith said Tampa gave Verizon a $13 million "needs assessment" that he says was required by law in order to obtain contributions for equipment for public access and government channels. The city's existing cable franchise, Bright House Networks, had paid $5.5 million and pledged $1 million more, he said.

Smith also said under Florida law, a competitor would be required to match that amount to obtain a franchise.
If incumbent Bright House paid and pledged $6.5 million and law requires Verizon merely match that, why would they now "need" $13 million for Verizon to enter the market? This strikes me as either protection of the incumbent monopoly or simple greed barely distinguishable from legalized extortion, hence my skepticism concerning Tampa's side of the story.

PeterCollins

join:2005-05-23
Geneva, IL

1 edit
reply to dynodb

said by dynodb:

You see I have cable at home, and am paying rather high rates due to the Minneapolis city-imposed cable franchise monopoly in my town. Franching limits competition, and thus hurts the consumer- me.
So a franchise making sure that all parts of Minneapolis are covered with cable services somehow hurts you?

Limits competition? It forces all to play on the same field. From a city's point of view, they should be looking to having all of their citizens treated equally.

And it's certainly not a city imposed "monopoly" either as any number of entrants could enter the arena...they just choose not to do so...much in the same way you don't see Verizon or Qwest doing serious overbuilds in AT&T territories and vice versa.
--
Peter I. Collins
Information Technologies Manager
City of Geneva, Illinois
pcollins@geneva.il.us
630.232.1743

dynodb
Premium,VIP
join:2004-04-21
Minneapolis, MN

said by PeterCollins:

said by dynodb:

You see I have cable at home, and am paying rather high rates due to the Minneapolis city-imposed cable franchise monopoly in my town. Franching limits competition, and thus hurts the consumer- me.
So a franchise making sure that all parts of Minneapolis are covered with cable services somehow hurts you?
When it comes at the price of having a city enforced cable monopoly, yes, quite obviously. Franchise agreements aren't driven by a desire to see everyone get service; they're about money. Requiring vast sums of money just to offer service has nothing to do with what areas are offered service.

Limits competition? It forces all to play on the same field. From a city's point of view, they should be looking to having all of their citizens treated equally.
Historically, yes, they've only allowed one cable provider to operate in the city as a condition of the contract they had with Time Warner. Sure, everyone's equal- equally screwed of choices.
And it's certainly not a city imposed "monopoly" either as any number of entrants could enter the arena...they just choose not to do so...much in the same way you don't see Verizon or Qwest doing serious overbuilds in AT&T territories and vice versa.
Again, that's simply not the case. The city has enforced a monopoly by contract with Time Warner.

PeterCollins

join:2005-05-23
Geneva, IL

1 recommendation

Exclusive cable franchises are illegal under Federal laws.

See »www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscod···00-.html

"A franchising authority may award, in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter, 1 or more franchises within its jurisdiction; except that a franchising authority may not grant an exclusive franchise and may not unreasonably refuse to award an additional competitive franchise."

Even Minneapolis' website can provide insight as to their franchise regulations:

»www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/cable/h···-faq.asp

"Why has Comcast been granted a cable franchise in Minneapolis and can other cable providers also operate in the City of Minneapolis?

Comcast now holds a non-exclusive franchise which covers the entire area of Minneapolis. Should other cable television providers wish to offer services in Minneapolis, the City of Minneapolis is open and willing to negotiate franchise agreements with these providers."
--
Peter I. Collins
Information Technologies Manager
City of Geneva, Illinois
pcollins@geneva.il.us
630.232.1743



Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
reply to dynodb

quote:
It's pretty clear that the FCC didn't "make up the story entirely" as you implied, nor did the city of Tampa accuse them of doing so in the article.
Reading the article would be a good idea.

A Tampa city lawyer called the FCC claim "complete and abject fiction", thus the sentence that states Some localities say the FCC and telco lobbyists "made up stories entirely" is accurate.

FYI (since you didn't know): Your employer has been busy pushing for statewide franchises in Colorado.

dynodb
Premium,VIP
join:2004-04-21
Minneapolis, MN

OK, now you've gone off the deep end.

To flatly state that the FCC- who got their information from the initial Verizon complaint and the Journal story- "made up" the story is a complete falsehood on your part, even if Tampa's claim that they got some details wrong is true. Not even Tampa is claiming they "made it up entirely".

You lied to your readers, and not for the first time- see the AT&T "won't compete on price" stories for another recent example.


dynodb
Premium,VIP
join:2004-04-21
Minneapolis, MN
reply to PeterCollins

LOL, yeah; on paper it's a non-exclusive contract, yet in practice the city only grants franchise rights to one provider. It's not exactly a secret around here.


PeterCollins

join:2005-05-23
Geneva, IL

Let me guess...

Vast numbers of cable providers have wanted to overbuild but have been turned away?

I doubt it very highly, and if they have, you (or Qwest) should sue to make sure the law is upheld.



Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:39
reply to dynodb

I understand you feel your baby bell livelihood is being threatened because a consumer-oriented website doesn't regurgitate the world-view forged in Qwest meeting rooms, but on top of attacks of objectivity, now you're just being obnoxious and ignoring the things I'm writing.

One last time:

said by you :
Not even Tampa is claiming they "made it up entirely
From the article:
quote:
Smith, who negotiated with Verizon in Tampa, says Martin's allegation neither was in nor a condition of the franchise agreement. Martin's characterization, the lawyer said, was "complete and abject fiction."
Fiction as you're aware, is something that is made up. Now let's look at what I wrote:
quote:
Some localities say that the FCC and telco lobbyists demonized the existing franchise system to get that vote through and, in some cases, made up stories entirely.
Note I don't claim the FCC lied, I point out that's the claim of the municipality, which it is.

I'm sorry you think I'm being unfair. I think it's unfair you feel the need to attack my objectivity instead of the facts because something I wrote doesn't mesh with your world-view.