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Council pushes ahead with plan to end FTTH charter

After years of putting up with empty promises the Rosemount City Council has decided it is done with Fiber To The Home. On Tuesday night the city council chose not to give the Internet and cable television company an extension before it revokes its franchise agreement Oct. 19.

During Tuesday's city council meeting staff recommended the council extend the the revocation date 30 days to give the council the opportunity to receive more information from a potential buyer for the company.

FTTH provides Internet, telephone and cable television services to several areas in Rosemount, including the Evermoor development, where it connects to 1,000 homes. The city's franchise only applies to cable television services, so even with the revocation the company will still be able to provide telephone and Internet services.

Community development director Kim Lindquist told the council FTTH has been marketing the business and that Jeff Feldman had turned up as a potential buyer. She said Feldman has a background in the communications industry and could possibly bring capital into the company.

Lindquist said FTTH would like to address the council during its Oct. 14 work session and requested the revocation date be put off for a month. No one from FTTH attended Tuesday night's meeting.

Despite the recommendation, three of the council members didn't think extending the revocation date would do any good. Councilman Mark DeBettignies said he didn't believe extending the date would change the ultimate outcome and that he thought the council would still end up revoking the franchise.

"I'm just not confident," said council member Kurt Bills.

Mayor Bill Droste spoke in favor of extending the deadline, saying it would be short sighted of the council to revoke the franchise with a potential buyer on the table. He added that revoking the franchise could affect whether the buyer continued with the deal.

"I would say we should hear them out," Droste said.

While not sure it would make any difference, Jeff Weisensel said he didn't see any harm in extending the date to get more information. He and Droste both voted in favor of extending the revocation date.

The council voted in July to revoke the company's franchise agreement and gave the company 90 days to notify customers.

The company has had a franchise in Rosemount since 2000. As part of its agreement with the city FTTH was supposed to extend its services throughout the city in phases. However, it hasn't completed any of the additional build out work, leading the city council to revoke the agreement.