OpenBand Franchise Renewal DENIED

By Stevens Miller

I voted with a total of eight supervisors just now to deny the request from OpenBand to renew their video services franchise in Loudoun county. There was no comment from any member voting with me. The only vote to renew was that of Eugene Delgaudio, who, in the last week alone, took over seven-thousand dollars in campaign donations from OpenBand’s owner.

I want to thank the many residents of Southern Walk who helped me see this as the right thing to do, and who helped make it clear to the majority of my colleagues on the board of supervisors. Thanks also to the Broadlands HOA then-president, Cliff Keirce, who brought this issue to my attention in 2007, as I ran for supervisor. His neighbors and mine made it clear that this was important, and I promised to do what I could for them if I were elected. Today, I am very proud to say, we delivered on that promise.


Comments

  • BlackOut says:

    Big win for Cliff Kierce!

  • TCJohnson says:

    And you know Delgaudio is going to get re-elected.

  • Erika M. Cotti says:

    Thank you to Stevens Miller & the Board of Supervisors.

    On behalf of the Southernwalk Homeowners Association Board of Directors:

    “It is important to remember that OpenBand was the one who allowed their franchise to lapse. OpenBand refused to negotiate with their customer(s) or the County and their actions resulted in the County using their sound judgement to deny their OVS application. The HOA’s main focus has and will continue to be our residents; who want to receive quality video service at a competitive rate.”

    Regards,

    Erika M. Cotti
    President, Southernwalk Homeowners Association

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    This is incredibly wonderful news. The whole board should be thanked with the exception of the one man who does not believe in free markets.

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  • BlackOut says:

    Erika, something tells me you’re going to need to keep your powder dry. Congrats you did a great job.

  • David says:

    Exactly, LA. It’s just stunning.

    Mr. Supervisor, good job.

  • Erika M. Cotti says:

    BO – no doubt. I suspect OB will file suit against the County by the COB or by the week’s end. As this seems to be their SOP.

  • TCJohnson says:

    Oh, and good job Mr. Miller and the rest.

  • BlackOut says:

    Well I am sure they will point to Delgaudio as providing reason for a dispute. I wonder if the 7K was for just this vote or if it was a pre-payment for work yet to be done?

  • Leesburg Dad says:

    Delgaudio should be ashamed, though it’s clear he has no shame.

    Are there any conflict of interest, or other rules, that should have prevented his voting on this matter given the contributions he just received?

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Surprised that Delgaudio went down with the ship here. He could have told OpenBand he would be there for them next term.

    I guess the pull of the corporate masters were just too strong.

    Congratulations to you Ms. Cotti.

  • BlackOut says:

    Well LD, there sure is. I believe it is documented in the BOS code of conduct. If I remember correctly Delgaudio refused to sign that. Wonder if he ever did?

  • Defrauded Resident says:

    Woot. Hopefully some time in the near future I will be able to change my TC name to something else.

  • Loudounite says:

    They’ll be baaaaaaaack! With a Board bought and paid for by them, you know they have a back up plan.

  • whatsnext says:

    Super. Now the Verizon backhoes can begin digging up our neighborhoods. Did any of you think ahead out do we all scramble around to get new cables dug to our houses before the internet goes out?

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Well, if the Dems could find a decent candidate Delgaudio would be beatable. His voting for this after just taking thousands of dollars of their money is beyond disgusting. What an unethical POS.

  • Fred says:

    Seriously LI you can disagree with someone who doesn’t vote your way, but tell me how calling them a “piece of crap” results in civil discourse?

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    I didn’t just call him a piece of crap, I called him a piece of shit. That’s worse, and of course it isn’t civil discourse. But it’s borne of gobs of frustration over Delgaudio’s blatant sell out and lack of moral compass. And no matter how uncivil that is, I am not an elected official, and it is nowhere near the ZombieGate screw up as far as civil discourse goes.

  • Whatsnext, yes, we did think ahead. My constituents who are affected have, through their HOA, already made a deal with a wireless provider. No one will be doing any digging. OpenBand’s infamous exclusive easements will prevent it. Also, this is not about internet service: it is about television.

  • […] Miller has reported this news: I voted with a total of eight supervisors just now to deny the request from OpenBand to renew […]

  • Newbie says:

    Amazing how much courage one can finally find once they decide not to run for re-election.

  • Lloyd says:

    stevens, with the easement issue apparently unresolved, what does the non-renewal mean for for those former OpenBand TV customers?

  • See my comment replying to Whatsnext at 8:06 PM.

  • Rob Iola says:

    Dishes on rooftops?

  • Fred says:

    So for all the spotlight given to Open Band for exercising their right to participate in the political process, I look forward to the same spotlight on Unions trying to influence BoS elections with a wad of cash. http://virginiavirtucon.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/union-money-pours-into-loudoun-county-democrats/

  • Lloyd says:

    I don’t see how that answers the easement issue. If the other contractor doesn’t have an easement, how can lines (fiber optic or other) be installed?

  • See the twenty-second word of my comment replying to Whatsnext at 8:06 PM.

  • Lloyd says:

    still worthless

  • David says:

    You mean digging?

  • Rob Iola says:

    Just to be clear Mr. Miller – residents will now have the option to choose between DirecTV with a dish or to continue with OpenBand? Or does OpenBand go away completely?

  • LoCoSpiderWebs says:

    You will notice if you go to the link below and download the ethics pledge, Delgaudio did not sign it in 2009, and never has. He is the only one not to sign it. His acceptance of the MC Dean money and then his vote today is disgraceful, not only to his Sterling constituents, but to the entire County as well.

    http://loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=312&fmpath=/Code%20of%20Ethics

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    Rob,

    This is a complicated situation with multiple moving parts. A couple of facts:

    1] This only affects TV. It would not affect Openband on Internet and telephone.

    2] Openband is in a transition period. During this period they must provide service. This period can be extended by the County indefinitely.

    3] Now having denied the Franchise gives the county new options and rights under the existing Franchise.

    4] The HOA’s may optionally cite breach of contract vis a vis their individual contracts.

    5] There is a seperate antitrust investigation going on at the state level. or at least there better be.

    6] There are two lawsuits in motion and a third probably coming from the HOA’s.

    7] There are complications with private easements that are subjects of the lawsuits.

    8] No resident will go dark.

    9] In the short term, this changes nothing for the customer. It sets some very important and positive dynamics for the next steps. It creates new options and needed to be done.

    Openband MUST go negotiate with the HOA’s and MUST give up their exclusive easements and compete fairly in the marketplace. Then I am sure everybody could find a way to make this work all around. They REFUSED to negotiate with anyone other than the OVS commission where they agreed to nearly meaningless concessions.

    The fact that this vote had 8 on the side of goodness and light means it is truly the right position to take. This includes Republican supervisors who are stepping down. They also know it is right to do.

    Openband will keep fighting to be sure. But at the end of the day they will lose. This issue will outlive me. My children’s children will fight Openband if they must since they will still be subject to the agreements. We will pass on this torch from generation to generation until we rid society of monopolistic, anti-competitive, non-free market, badly run companies.

    We tell our Children bedtime stories of the evil Openband monster which has locked up our community, so they will one day be ready to fight. If it must be, this will be an election issue in the 2051 BOS races. 🙂

    Seriously. Those of you who don’t follow this closely may think this is crazy, but the HOA contracts last 65 to 75 years. The easements? They last for ETERNITY.

  • Rob Iola says:

    LA, thanks for the explanation, but does this mean that for TV OpenBand still is the only provider during this transition period?

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    LA, Catania is such an ass in that last paragraph!!!!!

    Stevens, you should update your post with that last sentence from Catania. Disgusting.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    Rob, I believe that is the case.

    This is the sentence LI is referring to:

    ““The story isn’t over,” Catania said, noting that the company might resubmit its application or pursue legal challenges. He also noted that next Tuesday’s elections might well result in a new set of supervisors.”

    Yes, a mere hundred thousand or so and you too can buy yourself millions in guaranteed revenue stream If the next BOS approves the Franchise without serious concession on competition, then they will be vilified publicly and voted out.

    That quote is the arrogance everyone has gotten from them at every turn. Our way or the highway.

    As I said before – they will lose – they have to defend a dozen different ways of stopping them. Only one of those needs to succeed for their business to fall apart. Their customers will never give up. They must negotiate and allow competition.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    Miller uncovers more evidence of MCDean buying the election:

    http://stevensrmiller.com/wordpress/?p=2192#more-2192

    This is beyond disgusting and unquestionable at this point. Why else would Dean and many other associated entities donate a sudden and unprecedented amount to all these races? They have an objective.

  • Liberal Anthropologist says:

    Where is Leesburg Today and LTM on all these donations? Ask Dean for a statement!!

  • LA, thanks for the comprehensive and comprehensible explanation.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    re Miller’s new blogpost, the email looks like it may refer to the solar installation bid under McGimsey’s fake company. If a new PAC funded by whomever (yes, even Dean) exposes that publicly, amen.

    If, as the shown mailer implies, they’ve actually FOUND her fake company registered anywhere, that’s gold.

    If so, they’d be the first entity to ever locate that she’s registered any of the businesses she’s credited with.

  • LA’s enumerated facts are, afaik, all correct. OB’s attorney, Mr. Young, has argued that the duration of the contract actually reflects federal policy intended to encourage smaller businesses to enter a market dominated by a few large players. While that sounds good, the article on Mr. Catania refers to MC Dean as “a $900,000,000-dollar company.” That’s not as big as Verizon, but it’s not Jobs’s mother’s garage, either.

    I’d be interested in how a guy like Matt LeTourneau, and others who oppose business regulation, would assess this. In this case, the policy objective is to create a more competitive market by giving advantages to smaller entrants. But, that seems to be at the expense of the limited bargaining power of the only proper ultimate beneficiary of all government policy: the people.

    The argument seems to be that, in the large, our society overall benefits because more vendors survive long enough to be equal participants on the supply side, giving more choices and, therefore, the benefits of competition, to the demand side. But, to get to that point, the policy apparently takes away all choice from a small sector. In other words, my neighbors in Southern Walk had their freedom taken away for the sake of giving more freedom to everybody else.

    At the risk of sounding melodramatic, that feels almost communist to me. Ick.

    Our notions of free-market capitalism, as well as our healthy reluctance to give government the power to limit success, tend to oppose restrictions on larger vendors solely in the name of helping smaller entrants catch up. Here, however, the restrictions were placed on the consumers, with the result being that a near-billion-dollar company got a great deal, not so much at the expense of bigger companies’ profits, but at the expense of free-market participation by the smallest participants there are: the people.

    That’s just wrong, even if it can be argued to serve a long-term greater good. If we’re going to screw around with the market for reasons like that, it is time, past time, to reconsider imposing restrictions on those biggest players. Really, taking freedoms from consumers so small companies can compete with big ones… what a thoroughly unAmerican way to do things.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    Restricting consumer choice = ok
    Restricting corps = socialism

  • eb, must you go on at such length just to make a simple point?

  • David says:

    “’The story isn’t over,’ Catania said, noting that the company might resubmit its application or pursue legal challenges. He also noted that next Tuesday’s elections might well result in a new set of supervisors.”

    Oh, the irony. Is this one of the Conservative Homosexuals attacking Mr. Delgaudio? Sounds to me like they’re on the same side, the one in favor of restricting consumer choice and free markets.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Is Catania gay??? That is pretty ironic if true.

  • David says:

    Yes, he’s a very well known gay Republican. He bleeds red, too.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Wow, it seems Delgaudio has a lot of gay fans all of a sudden.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    MC Dean and affiliates have given over $80 grand to local candidates this year (be sure to see the first comment):

    http://doorbellqueen.blogspot.com/2011/11/still-curious-how-much-money-have-mc.html

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