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.