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Public Meeting Set on Possible Verizon FiOS Deal For Village

Port Jefferson may strike a franchise deal with cable competitor for services.

As other villages have done in the past – including neighboring municipalities like Poquott – Port Jefferson is contemplating a franchise agreement with Verizon for its FiOS branded television, Internet access and phone service through fiber optic cable.

As of now, officials have few details but said more is to come at a public hearing scheduled for March 4 at 7 p.m. in Village Hall, including information on where in the village FiOS can be turned on.

“We will have map of village by then showing where it is available,” Mayor Margot Garant told Patch by email.

A Verizon representative did not confirm the deal saying that it would tip off their competition.

“We typically do not comment on any elements of possible expansion of our FiOS services,” said company spokesman John Bonomo in an email. “And for one primary reason: our competitors would love to know.”

Verizon’s FiOS offers direct competition to Cablevision’s Optimum services. Cablevision has not returned an email request for comment as of the writing of this article.

Bonomo said that Verizon is focused on building out its commitment to 183 franchised communities in New York. Back in 2011 it was reported that Verizon wasn’t negotiating with Brookhaven Town because of those existing obligations. Then Supervisor Mark Lesko said that was “unacceptable.”

"At least give us a chance to pitch Verizon and make it financially attractive to Brookhaven as opposed to not giving us a chance at all," Lesko said, as reported by the Village Times Herald.

At the time, Verizon said it understood the town’s plight but it wasn’t seeking any franchises.

"We understand that Long Islanders don't like Cablevision," Bonomo said in the story. "We would like to provide an alternative, but at the moment we are not seeking any franchises."

Frustrated Brookhaven Town residents have said they’d like an alternative to Cablevision because they felt competition would bring down prices.

Poquott Mayor Barbara Donovan told Patch in an email that her village has had a contract with Verizon for several years now.

"As I remember it, the process was not complicated," Donovan said. "We haven’t had any complaints or comments one way or another, so I guess any resident who has it likes it."

CHEF DEB February 07, 2013 at 03:23 PM
i am very excited to see verizon giving us an alternative to cablevision , i am sick of being a slave to cablevisions services due to a lack of options. i live in port jefferson station and i am hoping the servive they offer is not just restricted to the villiage, sign me up!
lara buscatelli February 08, 2013 at 01:24 AM
Sorry Chef. It's just the village. FIOS has not negotiated with the town for a franchise agreement. It would be nice to have an alternative.

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