Tampa’s Front Page Ink

It’s not often that Tampa is referenced on the front page of the Wall Street Journal — let alone in the lead of the top story. But thanks to this city’s integral role in a Verizon piece, that’s what occurred two Fridays ago.

Nationwide, Verizon is battling to hold its own in the free-for-all that is today’s telecommunications marketplace. According to the WSJ , Verizon’s upgrade plans involve spending some $20 billion to fiber-optic its service areas. Part of the scenario includes “squaring off against local governments” as it seeks to offer additional service, such as cable TV. And these local governments, such as Tampa’s, can be pretty demanding when it comes to a quid pro quo for granting permission.

City officials, noted the WSJ, presented Verizon with a “$13-million wish list, including money for an emergency communications network, digital editing equipment and video cameras to film a math-tutoring program for kids.”

The WSJ chronicled Verizon’s pique, suspension of talks and subsequent deal with Temple Terrace, which resulted in ads that sardonically urged Tampa residents to move to Temple Terrace if they wanted more TV choices.

Verizon later “turned on the marketing charm,” noted the WSJ , and the two sides resumed talking. According to the Journal , “Verizon says it’s confident any outstanding issues will be resolved and that its video plans eventually will get the city council’s blessing.”

Not editorialized in the WSJ article: These days Verizon better make sure that it’s anticipating a blessing — not a rubber stamp.

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