Verizon Sues Maryland County

Arguing that its franchise demands violate the First Amendment, Verizon Communications filed a lawsuit against Montgomery County, Md., Thursday.

Verizon claimed in the suit that the county -- where Comcast is the incumbent operator -- is demanding fees from its telephone and Internet services, in addition to demands that the telco set aside about 65 channels of digital capacity for public, educational and government programming and hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay county attorneys negotiating the franchise.
“We’re frustrated at the lack of progress in these negotiations because the inordinate delay benefits only the monopoly cable incumbent,” Verizon associate general counsel John Frantz said.