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Verizon FiOS deal unanimously accepted

The Colonie Town Board voted unanimously to accept the contract to bring the Verizon FiOS service to the town this evening.

Town Supervisor Paula Mahan said this would bring the much needed competition to Colonie as Time Warner Cable has been the only cable service in the area. Colonie now joins many of the surrounding municipalities that will have the service installed.

Other residents were also excited, as they said they have had problems with Time Warner in the past.

\I'd like to urger the approval of this, said Colonie resident Bill Pollock. "I rarely see where a monopoly is a good thing. I'm dissatisfied with Time Warner I contracted to get Direct TV installed even though I don't want a satellite on my new home. During that, Verizon said it was extending its service so I cancelled."

There was some criticism which came from John Fogerty, an attorney for Time Warner, who said he had some criticisms over some of the provisions in the contract regarding the contributions for the Public, Educational and Governmental regulations.

Time Warner would like the charges in the contract to Verizon on the PEG contribution to be a per subscriber basis as he said the number of Verizon's customers could change in five years. This would be different than what is currently in the contract, which states Verizon will only have to contribute 25 percent of what Time Warner pays.

"It will be 25 percent no matter what, which is facially discriminatory," he said. "Our view would be if it's a flat grant, then that's not subscriber sensitive. Leveling the playing field would be the same amount."

The contract Time Warner currently has with the town regarding PEG, which began in 1994, expired 10 years ago and Town Attorney Michael Magguilli said the town has tried to negotiate a deal but to no avail.

"We've been trying to negotiate with Time Warner for three years and there has been no success," he said. "Time Warner has not come to the table."

Fogerty said proposals had been made, but the negotiation process for these issues can be lengthy.

"We haven't come to an agreement," he said, "but those things happen sometimes.""

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