Montgomery County's MFP committee will be holding a quarterly hearing on the county's cable franchisees. This will be the first meeting with Verizon as an official franchisee. Are we still in the honeymoon? We'll find out. February 5 at 9am on the 7th floor of the Council Office building.
My guess is that the honeymoon is still on (and the council has its hands full of other problems) but I've heard a lot of complaints from people waiting to get fiber and not understanding that, well, it takes time. And Verizon, despite wanting to roll out service as quickly as possible, has plenty of time built into the franchise. Please calm down folks!
I've got my own problems. I've become dismayed to find - as I had feared all along - that I cannot get any kind of device with which I can readily schedule recordings of FIOS TV on my computer. I really don't want to get a separate DVR and display. Might I end up with FIOS for internet and Comcast for TV? Egad. And please don't tell me the quality of FIOS TV is so much better. Or that it costs more this way. I accept this. Or do I. This is so frustrating.
The County is looking for citizen volunteers to serve on the Telecommunications Advisory Committee (TAC). This committee advises the County Executive and County Council. Well that was always the theory anyway. Very little advising has taken place in the years that I've been observing the committee. For example, the TAC was not invited to any of the Verizon negotations or strategy sessions held by the Executive.
Just about everyone involved shares some of the blame for lack of communication. (Well, the council wasn't invited either so I can't blame them too much.) I've explained the problems several times before so I won't repeat them again. (Browse the archives.) Hopefully, new members will be more informed and willing to work. And perhaps the new Executive will be more interested in the committee's opinions.
There are five openings on the committee. Four members are eligible to apply for a second term. But I would assume that most of them won't.
If you have any questions about the committee, please post them here and I'll answer them. And attend the meetings to see what goes on. Hmm, looks like the Cable Office hasn't been updating their online calendar. Sigh. Assuming they stick to the usual schedule (3rd Wednesday of each month), the next TAC meeting should be January 17, 2007. However, I see the official solicitation for new members says that meetings are on the "forth (sic) Wednesday evening of each month." A new strategy to keep attendance down?
Incidentally, if you'd like to serve on another committee, here's the full list of openings. Hmm, I just tried clicking on it and got Windows NT Error number 2 occurred. (And I know it's not my computer since I'm not using Windows!) Maybe you'll have better luck.