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I am in complete agreement with Tom Kalil that folks should
be pushing hard to get their cable companies to offer Internet
connectivity.  But as a part-time staffer for the Town of Tonawanda
Cable Committee (now in negotiation with Adelphia), I am finding
the issue to be rather complicated.  To begin with, the cable
company has little experience with either the technology or
business of data.  Secondly, there are extra costs involved in
offering data services to home and office as Adelphia does their
network upgrade.  If we, as franchise authority, insist on extra
goodies being built into the network (for which no proven market
exists), the cable company can claim these as "external costs."
Accordingly, these items can be itemized seperately on the
customer's bill and blamed on the Town.
 
Jim Finamore
Town of Tonawanda Cable Committee
1835 Sheridan Drive
Buffalo, New York 14223
voice: (716) 871-8855