The Greenburgh Town Board unanimously approved the Verizon franchise agreement at last night's Town Board meeting. As a result, Greenburgh will be the first locality in Westchester County to have cable TV competition! The agreement ends a 2 year negotiating process. Town Clerk Alfreda Williams headed the cable TV consortium meetings for about 2 years. Her committee, which included representatives of the villages and citizens with expertise in cable TV issues, presented the Town Board with a draft cable TV agreement this summer. The draft agreement provided the Town Board with a great foundation - a document to work with. Councilman Francis Sheehan, assisted by Town Council Aide Gil Kaminer, worked hard to enhance a number of provisions in the agreement. Everyone worked together on this --the partnership between citizens, town officials, volunteers ---is a perfect of example of government at its best. We have a very good agreement that will enhance the quality of life for Greenburgh residents.
For me, cable TV competition is a dream come true. During my tenure as a Westchester County Legislator in the 1980s and my early years as a Town Supervisor - I wrote to every cable TV company in the United States inviting them to come to Greenburgh --to provide residents with a choice of cable TV services. A Hartsdale resident, Hy Fishoff, worked very hard --trying to reach out to other companies.Unfortunately, the cable TV companies had an unwritten rule --they would not go into another companies territory. In the early 1990s the town almost had cable TV competition. I approached a small NYC company--LIBERTY Cable. They expressed interest in providing competition. I recall that they even received some approvals by the Town Board. They advertised their intent to provide competition to Greenburgh residents on page one of the NY TIMES. But---they backed out before service would start.
I believe that competition will result in reduced rates...better service. It's a win-win for everyone. Just think about what competition did for internet providers. Years ago my AOL account was about $20 a month. Now, it's free. Maybe, as the industry changes cable TV services will eventually be free too!