Saturday, September 06, 2008

Misgivings in Maryland over Verizon FiOS reach

Charles County, Maryland commissioners are concerned a franchise deal the county is finalizing with Verizon to install Verizon's proprietary FiOS fiber optic cable in county rights of way won't serve the county's telecommunications needs. reports:

‘‘I want to know how we’re improving what we [have] now,” said commissioners’ President F. Wayne Cooper (D). He compared the pending Verizon deal to that of a builder making big promises in order to secure approval for a small project.

‘‘This sounds an awful lot like ‘let me build the retail now, and I’ll build the offices later.’”

Again, staff was reluctant to discuss the details of the Verizon agreement on the record. However, Rick Elrod, the county’s consultant for the Verizon deal, admitted that the Verizon project being discussed would not be as broad as the commissioners would like.

Sounds like the commissioners need to consider alternatives such as open access fiber lest they end up with angry constituents due to the limitations of the proposed Verizon FiOS project.

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