Guess what—waiting around for the cable guy to arrive has just gotten a little more interesting, because the city has just worked out a deal with the two major cable companies over their service technicians' tendency to be late. The NY Times reports, "Under the terms of a new contract that has been negotiated with City Hall, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision will have to pay a price for failing to honor appointments... The contract will make cable customers eligible for a credit amounting to full month’s bill if a technician does not arrive on time."

However, the Times says that the penalty will decrease to $25 after 2012, which is when Verizon Fios is supposed to have its infrastructure up and running. Additionally, Time Warner and Cablevision will have to give customers the option of getting an e-mail, phone or text message notification about when technician is heading over, "And in most cases, a real person must come on the phone line no more than 30 seconds after a customer makes a selection from an automated menu."

Why did the city act? Partly because so many people started to call 311 to complain! Another interesting element of the city's new contract with Time Warner and Cablevision is "an investment of about $10 million by the cable companies to provide wireless Internet service to 32 city parks, which have yet to be identified. The service would cost users 99 cents per day, though it will be free for 10 minutes up to three times a month. Time Warner Cable and Cablevision subscribers would get the service free."