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Verizon Suspends Cable Talks in New Hampshire

Verizon shut off all video franchise negotiations with New Hampshire municipalities, according to a Sept. 1 article in the Exeter News-Letter, because the telco had to negotiate individual franchise agreements versus a statewide deal like New Jersey.

“It’s suspended indefinitely,” said Verizon spokeswoman Jill Wurm.

Verizon sent its representatives and equipment to New Jersey where new legislation allows them to negotiate on a state level for all service, according to Wurm.

Comcast now pays the town of Exeter 1% of customer revenues generated for services — approximately $24,000 per year, Exeter town manager Russ Dean told the News-Letter.

Wurm said Verizon chose to abandon its video efforts in New Hampshire because “the equipment had to go to the places that had firm service dates. We had limited resources in which to purchase equipment,” Wurm said. Exeter town officials had a preliminary meeting with Verizon representatives late last year but had no further discussions with the company, according to Dean.

“I’m not surprised that any big company would go where the sledding is easier,” selectman Joe Pace, who also serves as Cable Committee chairman, told the News-Letter. “But this also illustrates some differences between New Jersey and New Hampshire. New Hampshire cities and towns are going to want to do their own negotiations. It’s sort of that stubborn Yankee mentality, but I like the fact that towns are able to do that because it allows us to be able to negotiate certain things.”