The city’s public access channels, where government meetings and other local events are broadcast, will be available to Verizon customers beginning the end of this year or the early part of next year, according to a company representative.
The company has been attempting to move forward with the channels which are currently available to Cablevision customers, but has been slow. One hurdle was finding a place to install the company’s equipment to transmit programming.
“We have two sites that we’re looking at, one is city hall on Market Street and the other one is a privately owned building on Ellison Street,” said Lee Gierczynski, a spokesperson for the company.
Two weeks ago officials from the city met Verizon representatives to decide on a location. Gierczynski said the historic nature of the city hall building meant the company would have difficulty completing an installation at 155 Market Street.
“Because the city hall is a historic building, Verizon wanted to make sure the city was at a full understanding of what the full scope of the work that’s necessary to complete the installation,” said Gierczynski.
“We told them we had to look at it closely because it’s a historic building,” said mayor Jose “Joey” Torres.
The company will have to place circuits and run a conduit from the base of the building to the fourth floor, said Gierczynski. During the August 14th, 2014 meeting with city officials, the company settled on the second location: 77 Ellison Street, where the company will install transmission equipment to begin beaming the channels.
However, the second location which is being rented by the city also presents another challenge: the company must obtain permission to do the necessary work. “The city is leasing that space, so Verizon cannot do any work without an access agreement from the building’s owner,” said Gierczynski.
Torres told the company the city will reach out to the owner to obtain the needed permissions so the company can begin its work at the site.
“All the engineering plans has been done, it’s just the actual construction that hasn’t started yet,” said Gierczynski. With the most recent meeting with city officials, the company, which has been attempting to get the channels up and running since 2012, is hoping this will be the last step before the channels are brought online.
“If all goes as planned,” said Gierczynski, “Verizon expects to have the work completed by the end of this year or early January of 2015.”