Monday, September 13, 2004

Lafayette Joins the Ranks of Cities Misrepresented by PFF

Wired has a story on the increasing resistence of cablecos and phone companies to municipal competition. It's a worthwhile story in its own right, giving a national overview of the problem and the preferred tactics of the corporations. But the bit of the tale that will most interest those of us in Lafayette is the habit of misrepresentation betrayed by Tom Lenard of the Progress and Freedom Foundation. Lenard traveled to Louisiana to tell us at the "academic forum" (LPF analysis, report) that municipal telecom utilities could not succeed. Apparently he has now decided that Lafayette has already failed. He is on tour again for the corporations, telling Wired that:
"All the empirical evidence has been that they are losing propositions," Lenard said. He said case studies of fiber-to-the-home projects in Ashland, Oregon and Lafayette, Louisiana, show that "telecom is a tough business" for private ventures who have more expertise than municipal agencies.
Of course there is no, and can be no, "case study" providing "empirical evidence" that telecom is either "tough" or a "losing proposition" in Lafayette since there has been no fiber-to-the-home project in Lafayette to study. This is the sort of thing that passes as evidence for Lenard and the Freedom and Progress Foundation, something well worth considering when their dog and pony show revisits Lafayette.

These guys are shameless.

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