It looks as if Philadelphians will eventually get a chance to choose between Comcast and Verizon for cable TV, but City Council is going to take another month to six weeks to work over the proposed deal.

Verizon officials had hoped that a Council committee yesterday would approve a bill granting Verizon a 15-year lease to wire the city for its new FiOS service, but members instead postponed consideration until Council returns on Jan. 22.

Citing several concerns about the proposed deal, Public Property committee chairman Darrell Clarke said it's more important "to do this right than do it quick."

Council chambers was swarming yesterday with lobbyists for Comcast, and several Council members raised complaints about the proposed Verizon deal, negotiated this fall by members of the Nutter administration.

Among the issues still unresolved are how quickly Verizon can wire some neighborhoods, whether a minority firm should get an ownership stake in Verizon's Philadelphia operation, whether sufficient penalties are in the deal to ensure Verizon's performance, and whether Verizon is contributing enough to public-access channels. *

- Dave Davies