Monday, December 27, 2004

Anti-Fiber Group Announces Petition Drive

Beyond the bare fact that the folks at fiber411 have held a press conference to announce their intention to start a petion drive to halt the LUS fiber-fiber optic initiative not much more is known.

KATC ran a short at the begining of the hour that I caught with a fast TiVo save finger but nothing is on the web yet. They promise more "after the football game." KLFY has a story online, Residents Protesting LUS Fiber Plan, and the Advertiser has a brief breaking news story up under the title: Group begins drive to put LUS telecom plan on ballot.

Take a look yourself, it's pretty thin and nothing you haven't heard before. Chiefly: "it's dangerious;" and: "Guberment competing is bad" (subtext: government is bad) Like I said, nothing new.

The crew is continuing to claim that a petition can succeed with 5% of the voters but the reporting was too sketchy to see what they could be referring to. The recent "Fair Competition" bill is pretty explicit about this and would seem to be controlling legislation. This tidbit is worth following up.

Nor does anyone explain how the petition will be worded. They claim on their website to be for LUS building a wholesale network without any retail offering. Will the petition ask for this? Or simply be against LUS doing the work?
We are in favor of Lafayette Consolidated Government moving forward with an OPEN fiber optic system that would allow for true competition, not a closed GOVERNMENT OWNED AND OPERATED system that would either stifle competition and consumer choice or expose the taxpayer to excessive risk in a very risky industry.
Just how LUS could build and operate an open fiber optic system that would allow for true competition without it being owned and operated by GOVERNMENT is really confusing to this observer. I'd love a little clarification.

Expect updates.....

Update, 1:20: KATC story is now online: Group Against LUS Fiber Plan

The evening news story on that channel was much more interesting than the write-up. Huval mounted a point by point defense, saying that some of their claims were "a bunch of bunk — and they know it." He's right of course. Plenty of communities have succeeded at similar ventures and I for one have pointed it out to Mr. Leblanc.


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