|February 1, 2008
Interconnection of PEG between Verizon and Incumbent Cable Providers
As reported in our correspondence to you August 3, 2007, Verizon is seeking BPU assistance in resolving disputes surrounding PEG interconnection with incumbent cable providers. This dispute may result in local access channels not being carried on the new Verizon cable system. This means local alerts and local event scheduling, among other PEG programs, may not be seen by some subscribers to the Verizon system. This letter is an update of that dispute resolution process and the outcome of a January 31, 2008 case management conference held with the parties and presided over by BPU Commissioner Joseph Fiordaliso.
One outcome is the attached revised BPU procedural schedule for this matter. Of note are the dates 2/7/08 for a public hearing and 2/8/08 for Initial Testimony on Interconnection. The commissioner also required both parties to submit on 2/8/08 plans for interconnection that address the issues of where interconnection should occur; how; costs; time frames; how costs should be shared; other terms of interconnection.
If you plan to participate in the 2/7/08 public hearing please check the BPU web site http://www.state.nj.us/bpu/ and copy the League on your comments .The hearing will be held 2/7/08 10:00 a.m. Two Gateway Center, Newark in the boards hearing room.
During the case management conference Commissioner Fiordaliso was very steadfast in his desire to expeditiously conclude the process of interconnection. The BPU is approaching the process with reasonable urgency and consideration for municipal needs, and for that we thank them. The League has made it clear we would prefer a quick resolution, and it appears the BPU is dedicated to not permitting any delay in settling the matter.
For more on this see the Cable Television Resource Center on http://www.njslom.org/cabletv_resource.html with information and answers for municipal officials. It is especially important that you review the article “Cable Television Landscape Changes in New Jersey” posted on the site. It will give you a quick overview of the issues and what you should do to protect your municipality’s interests. When a new franchisee comes to town, it is most important that you document your needs and desires related to that franchise and send them to OCTV and the franchisee.
Direct questions on this to Michael J. Darcy at the League office ext. 116 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.