"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Monday, December 1, 2014

More on Time Warner Cable

I don't want to leave the impression that the Time Warner Cable contract renewal is something to be taken lightly or a foregone conclusion. The public hearing this coming Thursday is just the beginning. Considering our current franchise agreement is about 15 years in length, our thought process needs to be a bit visionary with a look toward the future at least a decade out. Many discussions have taken place in town about the expansion of broadband and how it has the potential to bring new business to town. It is in fact in my opinion a necessity. This is more than that though. During this ascertainment process we need to be sure to engage the business community, the schools, the library ( which has a very large stake in this going forward) police and fire departments, community service groups, institutional leaders, churches and civic organizations. The end result is far more than TV channels and rates ( both of which are not in the scope of this process by the way), but how to be sure that the service we get meets the needs of the community as a whole in 2027 and beyond. What can TWC do for us? There is a crucial piece of the planning process we have not done a very good job with and that is in technology planning. That should be a vital piece of the Master Plan process. Just as want to preserve the old and revitalize, we also need to plan for the infrastructure of the future that will be even more critical to our everyday lives. Just watch TV shows from as recently as the 1990's and you will not see many cell phones. Nowdays, what would the majority of the population do without smart phones? Seen a working phone booth lately? My point here is to get everyone thinking beyond just the cable that runs to your home. I do know we need to do a lot of homework on this one and the outcome will have a long lasting impact on our town and it's citizens. We need to do it right.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good point on how quickly technological advances are being made. Maybe Mboro should try to enter a shorter term with whichever company you go with. If TW gets a 15 year deal, the incentive to provide top notch, state of the art equipment throughout the deal isn't there. Keep them honest by keeping the term of service shorter no matter what company you go with.

Hurry Up & Wait.. said...

With a hearing coming up Thursday, will we have a chance to read the Broadband report before this meeting? May we have a status report on this ? There was a mid November target for that report.
While looking for reports, see if. The UN H Termpaper got stuck in Town Hall. Will that one have to wait till all the $$ snowbirds are in Fl ?

ABC fan said...

Has someone done a goggle search on this topic to see what other communities are doing, and have done and achieved with their cable companies? May be a good place to start. Perhaps LGC whom we pay dues to can assist? Or LPC?

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

I'll try again.

In the middle of the video ... listen to the guy on the panel, on the left, wearing a tie.

"Ascertainment" meeting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q15ZAuLBeL4

Cable franchises:

http://www.iwantbroadbandnh.org/cable-franchise-agreements


Process summary:

http://corporate.findlaw.com/business-operations/cable-franchise-renewal-and-local-right-of-way-management.html

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

Blogger's comments are spot on.

Even the MoBo Tech Fund (over $200,000), which is funded by the 2% of TM's gross revenues, has revolved around "served" and "underserved" broadband access, with limited understanding of those ramifications, let alone the devices and equipment using the same; business and residential.

Personal opinion ... "cable" as we now know it will not exist, in less than 15 years!

Your smart phones aren't on cable. Business, commercial, equipment aren't on cable.

An example could be phone landlines v. cell/ smartphones using "wireless" technology. Wireless is not cable. Both are present broadband "providers".

The fiber trunks for broadband are the key to internet speeds and connectivity (for the foreseeable future). Even wireless isn't, for the most part, tower-to-tower and also makes use of fiber trunks.

Cable v. internet streaming ...

Get the best deal the lawyers can get us. The present revenue stream that MoBo gets from cable is on its way out!

Don't confuse fiber trunking/connectivity with "cable" ... apples and oranges ... not looking for fruit cocktail!


Please Hurry said...

Dear Mr Gassman, Thankyou for all the work you and the committee put in on the broadband study. Could you do one last push, and have town hall post the report on the town website before the Thursday hearing on the Time Warner contract? I want to be an informed citizen on this.....Wnat to be sure our town administrator is headed in the right direction.

Bill Gassman said...

On November 24'th, I presented a draft of the Broadband Working Group report at the LRPC meeting in Wolfeboro. A written script is available. There are four short term and four long term recommendations waiting to be presented to the select board. In a nutshell, after two years of searching, the committee identified three areas in town that cannot get residential broadband. All have underground utilities.

I disagree with Joe on the future of fixed wireless (cable/dsl), but that is a longer term issue. In the short term, I hope the BOS adopts a 100% served policy, and we are about 99% there. In 2015, with BOS approval, we can spend tech fund money and finish the job. Outstanding issues for future work include working with the providers (existing and new) for increased residential speeds and better mobile-wireless internet coverage.

After discussion with other town's broadband leaders, my thinking has moved beyond availability. The next most important issue is better adoption by businesses and residents. In my view, the town's future economic health will be better if our businesses evolve to adopt digital business techniques. Easy things first, such as listing on Google/Apple maps, Yelp and other information sources that bring them business and loyal customers. A majority of residents and tourists use the internet to find businesses, yet a quick inventory of online information about Moultonborough's businesses reveals a very incomplete picture.

Other towns have an economic development committee, often focused on business use of internet. We could try that too. The cost would be low and the potential impact high.

Can You Hear Me Now ? said...

To clarify the 9:19 post, it proposes public money to rescue three private housing developments that did not have enough for-site to bury a spare pipe, for repair, or expansion. How does their error become my cost?
Let's put the $ 200,000 back in the general fund. If you want to bail out private individuals, the septic issues at Balmoral are far more important. Many ways of having broadband, it does not have to be buried. septic does..

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

Hey Bill ...

It might appear strange, to many MoBo folks, that the LRPC has already heard the workgroup's recommendations ... and its governing body has not!

I thought Carter was suppose to make the presentations.

I did not mention in this post "fixed wireless". Tower-to-tower is mobile wireless.

I, unsuccessfully, suggested in the workgroup get a presentation from real experts on fixed wireless technology, as a possible solution to areas in MoBO that might not have broadband availability.

Sample:
http://www.wivalley.com/services/residential

That was before we determined that MoBo is well served by broadband.

The 100% served policy is valid for how long? Should the town spend the $200,000 in the Tech fund for one person ... two people ... for someone who is going to build a house in some remote part of town? This year ...next year ... 5 years hence...

Not sure what the two years that you mention refers to? Our workgroup was about 8-9 months; once a month trying to figure out "served" and "underserved", while the FCC was changing those definitions, as the workgroup was still talking about obsolete terms.

Maybe reality will kick in during the "ascertainment" exercise. There is not much that MoBo can do to get "100% service" through cable ... namely Time Warner. Federal law and the TWC business plan will decide.

I'll stand by my comments.

Businesses will adopt and drive broadband technology by necessity, not by some magic broadband formula.

The lack of broadband would hurt business.

That is not the case in MoBo. Business growth is not being hampered by broadband availability. It is a tool ... not a marketing plan to attract business.

Maybe MoBo is not conducive, nor business friendly, presently, notwithstanding broadband availability.

Anonymous said...

"When Google Fiber first launched in Kansas City, cable providers had to compete with the service that Google was offering for free.

Time Warner Cable responded by saying it bulk up local workforce by 9 percent, with mostly sales and customer service jobs. It also boosted its Turbo service by 33 percent, and doubled its fastest available Internet service.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, average Internet speeds in Kansas rose faster than any other state in America. Average speeds rose 86 percent when compared to the same quarter in 2011. In Austin, Texas, another Google Fiber city, TWC decided to offer free Wi-Fi hotspots around town. Of course, to access the hot spots, you have to be an existing TWC customer.

So cable companies are trying. They’re making an effort. But they’re still imploding."
From TNW Blog

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

Want to think about cable alternatives or hybrids ... not just Google and Microsoft. You think they are preparing to compete with "cable"... you think ... and I don't mean over a coax cable wire.

Remember ... "cable company" and "broadband provider" are not the same. Where do you think the money is going to be...

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/white-space-the-next-internet-disruption-10-things-to-know/


Over a year old ...
http://www.concordmonitor.com/news/politics/8640947-95/unh-to-test-super-wi-fi-technology-that-could-expand-broadband-access-in-rural-areas

Dr. Yassini... invented the cable modem.

http://www.unhbcoe.org/tags/rouzbeh-yassini


http://www.unhbcoe.org/sites/unhbcoe.org/files/fcc_rural_connect_letter_03_06_2014-final-2.pdf


http://www.unhbcoe.org/policy/adoption-and-affordability/plenty-ideas-connecting-rural-america-%E2%80%93-including-ours

http://www.unhbcoe.org/sites/unhbcoe.org/files/bcoe_broadband_2020_final.pdf

See ya at the ascertainment meeting.

Stinson Lake said...

Again, most are missing the point of this posting.

1. This town needs universal coverage. That should be a mandatory requirement for any new contract.

2. One has to look to the future. As the original posting states - technology is not stagnant. So how does this town with this new contract address future technologies?

15 years is a very long time for any contract. Where is it etched in stone that this has to be a 15 year contract? Why not a 5 year contract?

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

Stinson lake ...

No offense, but maybe, you're missing the points!

Time Warner cannot be forced into a mandatory "universal coverage".

The town, additionally, can/would be sued by TWC ... and TWC would win! That will happen even if MoBo doesn't renew the franchise.

Internet is not regulated. "Cable" is controlled by federal law, not town ordinances, nor state law, albeit RSA 53-C.

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/iii/53-c/53-c-mrg.htm

Phone companies, are state regulated public utilities, but, are regulated only on the "phone side of the business, not the broadband side (DSL). They, as well, cannot be "mandated" into universal availability.

Your point about 15 years is a good one.





Stinson Lake said...

"Time Warner cannot be forced into a mandatory "universal coverage"."

Hey Joe, why not on a new contract?

Are you stating that the town cannot mandate universal coverage in any future contract? With any cable carrier?

Back to basics.
What is this upcoming negotiation contract for?

Joe Cormier/jcormier2@myfairpoint.net said...

""Time Warner cannot be forced into a mandatory "universal coverage"."

For all practical purpose ...that's correct!

If you mean that MoBo "demands" universal coverage or ... let's get a different cable company ... Federal law is on TWC's side. If the town refuses to renew the franchise, TWC will appeal, and then appeal again in court, and more than likely win in court to renew the franchise.

Read this again, specifically item E.

http://corporate.findlaw.com/business-operations/cable-franchise-renewal-and-local-right-of-way-management.html

Tonight's meeting is to "ascertain" the elements ...

The negotiation is for MoBo to get better terms in the contract; e.g., the present 2% of gross revenue is too low, in my opinion. The federal cap is 5%. MoBo can get more than twice what it is now getting (that's the present $200,000+/- in the Tech fund accumulated since 2007/8.

Here are some areas that should be of interest in the negotiations, especially "ExtensionS of Cable System".

http://www.city.laconia.nh.us/uploads/administration_dept/docs/agendas/03.24.14%20Cable%20TV%20Franchise.pdf

The legislative concept is since a company puts all that money into setting up the infrastructure, it should get its return on investment.

If per chance, there is success in proving the cable company has "failed" to uphold it side of the contract, and MoBo wants a different company, then the new company would have to "rewire" the whole infrastructure ... fat chance that will ever happen.

Go with a different technology. It won't be cable!