In a recent letter to constituents, Montgomery County Councilmember Mike Knapp, rehashes the Verizon FIOS installation saga. Cleverly called "Open Mike", the letter is just a little too open in my opinion - lacking any references or statistics for his assertions. I don't like it.
For example, he says "Frankly, I'm not sure a day still passes where we don’t get one, sometimes many complaints." He's not sure? Huh? Then why say it? How many complaints is his office really getting? Why is his communique free of any actual numbers?
Another example of Mike's pearls: "And now, last evening, I was notified that more than a thousand Germantown residents had lost their cable because Verizon’s subcontractor and cut through their cable lines." Notified by whom? The letter says it was delivered to the council Sept 20 but I've seen no complaints on broadbandreports (where such outages are commonly reported) that would serve to back up his assertion. Could everyone in the Germantown area who reads this and lost connectivity then, email me? Or even one? Details (specifically time, duration, and location), please.
Knapp goes on to make other assertions, such as this one about driveways being "torn apart" saying "If the driveway is fixed, it is often fixed poorly." Torn apart? Fixed poorly? Often? Where are the numbers to back these assertions up? Photos?
Knapp continues that he "read in the newspaper that Verizon was still rather lamely asserting that the problem didn’t really lie with them, but rather with allegedly mislabeled utility lines. According to Verizon, it was someone else’s fault." Councilmember, what newspaper did you read that in? None of those which I read characterized it as "lamely" or anything close to it.
Wait, it just occurred to me what's going on. Knapp missed the previous council meeting at which Comcast made the same assertion only to have it blow up in their face. And none of his staffers briefed him on the outcome. Councilmember Knapp - please get up to speed. Review the notes from the meeting. Or read some blogs. Yes, Verizon is causing problems for Comcast. But your hyperbole isn't helping. The reality is that Comcast shares a large part of the blame. Verizon isn't saying they're blame-free. When you claim that they are, it makes you look uninformed and unhelpful - as if you cannot even understand the paper that you claim to read and cite. And cannot understand the council meeting notes that you haven't taken the time to carefully review.
Upcoming Quarterly Review of Comcast, RCN/Starpower, and Verizon
The Montgomery County Council's MFP Committee reviews the performance of its franchisees Comcast and RCN (nee Starpower) every three months. It's that time again. And Verizon is getting to be a regular invitee as well. Join me in person or watch using the county's video streaming or archive service. Of course, cable customers can also watch it live on TV. (Does anyone do this?) I plan to attend in person. The handouts are just too good to miss - and due to the poor quality of the video feeds, you can't read the viewgraphs except in person. Best of all, I can't wait to see which new sacrificial lamb Comcast sends this time.