Thursday, September 28, 2006

Hearing Tonight

As I mentioned previously, the public is invited to testify at the hearing this evening (Thursday, Sept 28 2006) on the proposed Verizon franchise.

Earlier today I spoke to Amy Wilson in the Cable Office and she said that 16 people are on the list to speak tonight. It's not too late to pre-register and she encouraged pre-registration but said that people will be permitted to speak without registering in advance. Citizens normally get 3 minutes each. Additional comments can be submitted in writing or email up to October 2. Note: The meeting has been moved from the 3rd floor to the 7th floor of the County Council Building.

Amy also explained that the hearing is for the benefit of the County Executive. (I had previously written that it was a council hearing.) This tells me that the proposed franchise is still in the Executive's hands and has not gone to the council for approval. I don't know what to make of that given the county's publication of the proposed franchise on their website. My past experience with these dual hearings is that the county executive hearings are purely for appearance. Nothing I've ever heard at one - at least the cable-related hearings - has been incorporated or used in any way.

In contrast, comments at the council hearings do get more consideration. You'd think that it ought to work in reverse - that the earlier you get your comments in, the more likely they can be incorporated. Your best bet: Give testimony at both hearings.

Yes, there will be a second hearing on the Verizon franchise. The council is required to hold their own. I'm not aware that any date for that hearing has been set yet. So predicted deployment dates that I mentioned previously should be moved further back - perhaps by another month at best.

See you tonight!


Anonymous said...

Officials from the city of Rockville plan to testify at the hearing.

Don Libes said...

It's about the cable franchise which means, well, whatever you think it means - sometimes it's not clear. Although the bulk of my testimony will be specifically about TV, I'm going to mention two areas where TV and internet are incestuously related and the franchise is too vague.

It won't bother me to hear you rant about net neutrality. People will say much more tangential things at these hearings. ("Comcast technicians trample my flowers and have sex with my cat whenever they come over!") I'd say: go for it.