Telecom Application For Gables Cables Ruled Incomplete
By Candice Ventra
Coral Gables commissioners have put off consideration of a license agreement between a telecommunications company and the city to operate a phone and Internet system.
They deferred action because the company won’t disclose certain information on its application, officials said.
New York based-Metromedia Fiber Network Services Inc. submitted an "incomplete" application to Jack Eads, Coral Gables city manager, requesting to use the city’s public rights-of-way for telecommunication cables.
City officials say they won’t approve Metromedia’s request until all information in the application is complete.
Commissioner Jim Barker last week addressed company representative Janna Lhota, a partner with the law firm Holland & Knight. "Why should I vote for this since you haven’t answered our questions," Mr. Barker said. "It appears to me that you just want to fast-track."
Ms. Lhota said there are state and federal "guidelines as to what we can disclose."
Metromedia plans to lay fiber-optic cables underground throughout the Gables in order to provide the area with telephone and Internet services, said Alberto Delgado, director of the Gables public works department.
According to the company’s application, executives anticipate the project to take one to two years.
Metromedia officers objected to answering about 10 questions, including whether the company has been engaged in litigation with any local government.
Metromedia also refused to answer questions regarding financial background, shareholder information and proposed rates of service once the project is complete.
Mr. Delgado said the licensing agreement with Metromedia would give the company use of the right-of-way if they agree with the terms of the city, which include a $2,500 application fee plus 1% of the company’s revenues from telephone and Internet service.
But commissioners say they won’t budge until the company answers all questions in the application.
The commission is expected to consider the matter again in July, Mr. Delgado said.
Metromedia has permission to use the public rights-of-way in Miami Springs, West Miami and Miami Shores to provide telecommunications services there, according to the company’s Gables application.