Saturday, November 06, 2004

Getting it Right the First Time

The Advocate story alerting the public to the upcoming fiber optic hearing, "LUS sets hearing Tuesday, " gets it right the first time. This is in distinct contrast to the Advertiser's fumbling approach and consequent make-good.

A story like this is a public service: it announces the event for which public input is desireable, and gives the community a sense of what is at stake in their participation. This article does that admirably—if you'd like a clean summary of what is at stake before going to the meeting Tuesday take a look.

Inattentive reporters are sometimes confused by the incumbent's attempts to conflate today's services with the potential of fiber networks. Blanchard, whose beat this is for the Advocate, is not:
BellSouth and Cox both use fiber-optics in their networks, but only to carry signals part of the way. The signal is eventually delivered using traditional copper wire, which doesn't have the capability to provide as fast or clear a signal as a pure fiber-optic line. LUS officials have said that getting the fiber-optic infrastructure in place now would put Lafayette ahead of the game once applications are developed that require more bandwidth.
Relevant issues like LUS's promised 20% discount for residents, the revenue flow for the city, costs, financing, payout projections, and the intangible point about bragging rights as the largest optically wired community in the nation are among the topics touched on.

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