So the story ended with me in October in regards to the Cable TV Franchise Agreement. The ball was in the Town of Merrimack’s court (or should I say the 7 member board?)
I had some change in my personal life which while I did monitor emails, several instances occurred between early October to Mid November.
And why should I need to follow up? Comcast’s appointed rep of municipalities and the Merrimack Town Council should’ve been crafting a final agreement. It shouldn’t be taking this amount of time. While ten years ago the technology and consumer tastes were different, if someone who has worked in this field for over a decade, they should know the ins and outs of the processes, and if they don’t they should turn to the New Hampshire Collation for Community Media for help.
This also was the first meeting that was recorded in HD since the cablecast is still in SD, but still heavily compressed.
While the discussion of eliminating the requirement of cable systems providing franchise fees, the overall sentiment was the town is dragging it’s feet. While the department head had said they received memos from 3 residents, it’s unsure if those individuals were notified about feedback or being in part of the Ad-Hoc committee for the Cable TV Franchise Agreement and also exploring the unregulated Internet franchising, and possibly improving the apparently deficient Merrimack TV operation. There has been no communication received by me from them as of this writing.
While my cable TV services that my family pays won’t be impacted per se, it’s not good on leadership of our town government to stall negotiations with Comcast while it was known to me that it would be by this point the Town Council (of which is the government of Merrimack, NH again) would’ve had no more discussions and a contract would’ve been in place by the time January rolls along.
Our leaders are so insistent that “the consumer” will benefit from having “more choices”. While the resident in the red shirt said in the UK there is handful of long haul ISPs, and the consumers have more than a dozen “last mile” ISPs, England is different from New England. UK with the Brexit factor is a country of their own, and New Hampshire legally is not. It’s very apparent that locals here believe they live in a state of their own mind, a republic, a rebellious against the outsiders. But the harsh reality is New Hampshire is a state in the U.S.A. and we have to conform to Federal regulations. The Internet was granted no-touch approach from the early 1990s with the idea the public Internet would just only be electronic libraries and in the mid 90s out of plain magic, the electronic libraries were sold off to become malls, a community center, and other profitable places that thankfully no real library had to deal with. And since the government treated the Internet as an “information system” this is the end result.
People forget IP is just a driver for machines talking to machines, that the “Internet” is well known by public opinion for humans to talk to one another on the World Wide Web, and that most “clouds” use the Internet port 80 that used to be a commonly used ports to access “web pages” that once was accessed by Netscape. If that was too much, in plain English, the “Internet” is this magical, non mythical world that can work without any problems that the “consumer” will benefit.
Good luck to that. I don’t think other ISPs want to come to New Hampshire. And misusing funds for Cable TV to wire up the town with fiber for IP based services will have the hurdles of fake NIMBY complaints similar to the Tennessee Pipeline Company (or Kinder Morgan) had to go through by the same town 3 years ago.
This is one heluvla story that has shown the failures of democracy, the lack of the constituents’ interest, their lack of awareness of their own town government and the town government’s negligence to be fit to handle a contract that is becoming more technical legally than it should begin with.
The story is not over yet.