Monday, September 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Kenney wants hearing on franchise agreement with Verizon Communications

In 2009 City Council approved a 15-year franchise agreement with Verizon Communications Inc. to bring the FiOS –fiber optic network to the city.

Kenney wants hearing on franchise agreement with Verizon Communications

In 2009 City Council approved a 15-year franchise agreement with Verizon Communications Inc. to bring the FiOS –fiber optic network to the city.

And now Councilman Jim Kenney wants to hold hearings to review the status of that agreement to examine the company’s progress in making cable television service available throughout the city.

“We’ve been getting information from various sources that they may not be on schedule with their promise to build-out in every community in the city and they may be choosing to build out in more lucrative areas than in some of the poor areas,” Kenney said after Thursday’s session. He and Councilman Bobby Henon sponsored the resolution.

“We have a digital divide obviously [and] according to the Knight Foundation reports and we want to make sure that when we granted this franchise there were certain promises made and we want to make sure we’re up to speed with them,” Kenney said.

But Verizon spokesman Lee Gierczynski said the company is on schedule and it has built-out in different neighborhoods including in West Philadelphia, Kensington, Brewerytown and other parts of North Philadelphia.

“We’ve met or exceeded the benchmark outlined in the franchise agreement,” Gierczynski said.

The agreement requires that Verizon make cable television service available to households throughout the franchise area within seven years.

Gierczynski said there are 600,000 households and the company is at a 32 percent completion rate, adding that Verizon will “gladly provide City Council with whatever we can about deployment of the network.”

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
 Follow Chris on Twitter

Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
 Follow Sean on Twitter

PhillyClout Team
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected