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There are a couple of reasons why this would be impossible. The first relates to “level playing field” rules. When the Verizon contract expires in 2021, they cannot be compelled to be at a financial disadvantage to Spectrum whose agreement doesn’t expire until 2024. Both contracts must be comparable in terms of requirements on the cable provider. The second is that towns do not have the leverage that one might expect in a renegotiation situation. The plant is built and customers are already serviced. Should the town attempt to deny service to a cable provider, thousands of residents/customers could lose service. Since that can’t happen, the town is over a barrel. The cable provider understands this, as does the NYS regulatory authority, the Public Service Commission (“PSC”). If the Town can’t come to a resolution with the cable provider, a Temporary Order of Authority (“TOA”) is issued every 6 months by the PSC until a new agreement can be worked out. We have seen TOAs issued for over 20 years to one municipality.
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Neither Spectrum nor Verizon FiOS offer a discount to senior subscribers. This decision was not one that the town was in agreement with, but it was nonnegotiable at the time the agreements were finalized.