Arundel Digest

ARUNDEL DIGEST

August 25, 2006

Verizon cable signs deal with county Verizon will become the third cable TV provider in Anne Arundel County, now that County Executive Janet S. Owens has signed a 15-year deal.

A year in the making, the deal will pit Verizon's new fiber-optic FiOS network against Millennium Digital Media and Comcast Corp.

When it becomes available in the next few months, Verizon cable will serve about two-thirds of the county - including Laurel, Odenton, Crofton, Crownsville; the Broadneck, Mayo and Annapolis Neck peninsulas; and the western corner of South County - in an initial phase.

Within that area, Verizon will offer cable to all businesses within two years and to nearly all homes within five.

Verizon will also provide free basic cable service to county schools, fire and police stations, libraries and other municipal buildings.

Verizon has agreed to dedicate five channels to public access programming.

In exchange, the county will receive 5 percent of cable revenue from Verizon.

"I'm pleased that Anne Arundel County residents now have more choice when it comes to their cable services," said County Executive Janet Owens. "Competition is good for consumers and leads to competitive pricing and improved quality."

Anne Arundel County is the fourth jurisdiction in Maryland to grant Verizon a video franchise, joining Howard County and the cities of Bowie and Laurel.

Dog park named one of the best

The dog park at Quiet Waters Park outside Annapolis has been named one of the best in the country, according to list put out this week by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

PETA ranked the park, which features a beach for pooches and separated areas for big and small dogs, sixth.

The list was compiled from votes cast on the organization's Web site. The No. 1 park was Point Isabel Dog Park in Richmond, Calif., which boasts the largest off-leash dog park in the United States.

"Everyone needs to be `unleashed' occasionally, and that's particularly true for dogs," says PETA Director Daphna Nachminovitch.

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