Thursday, December 30, 2004

Lafayette, poster child for municipal broadband

RedNova News carries a truly impressive story today that both leads and ties off using Lafayette as an example. BellSouth and Cox's ugly Intransigence and Lafayette's plain-spoken public officials have made Lafayette's case good copy and the obvious example to use to represent the whole municipal broadband movement. Who woulda thunk it? Lafayette has gained a national reputation as being at the forefront of one of the most progressive high-tech movements of the new century. Kudo's to our leaders.

Here is the lead to the story, Bells Dig in to Dominate High-Speed Internet Realm:
"To hear BellSouth talk, high-speed fiber lines are the way of the future. So why is it so determined to stop Lafayette, La., a rural community in the heart of Cajun country, from installing its own fiber?

Joey Durel, Lafayette's mayor, has been asking himself the same question. His city plans to build an advanced broadband network to offer voice, data and video for Lafayette's 116,000 residents. BellSouth is trying to kill the project. And it's getting help from Cox, the local cable-TV operator."

''We have the opportunity to do something great for this community -- and in a state that needs a big win,'' Durel fumes. ''They have to get out of our way.''

It's the dark side of the fiber story.

Nice, no? And the theme is repeated at closing:

Mayor Durel says the city isn't backing down.

''This is much bigger than Lafayette,'' Durel says. ''This is about economic development for us. This is about future-proofing our city.''

''This is not personal,'' Durel says. ''It's not like they're bad-mouthing my mother. But they have to get out of our way, because we are not going to stand down on this.''

You can't buy press like this.
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Laigniappe:
If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you'll see credit given to USAToday. You immediately assume that the USAToday article is the source of all the nifty quotes from Durel that you haven't seen elsewhere. The problem with that idea is that there hasn't been any USAToday article on Lafayette's project—yet. If you paid close attention to AOC's broadcast of Tuesday's council meeting you would have caught a Durel in a little misstep that likely explains the oddity. He announced that Wednesday's USAToday would have a front page article on Lafayette's project. That would have been a coup beyond measure--the front page on the nation's largest circulation newspaper is a BIG DEAL. A few minutes later, however, Durel had to retract the announcement. A big wave as he put it, (The Indian Ocean Tsunami) had claimed the front page. But he said it has been rescheduled for this coming Tuesday. Apparently RedNove got an advance copy. I, for one, will be looking for it come Tuesday. If the RedNova 'teaser' is any indication it should be exciting.

Update: As a commenter notes, the story is also online and Forbes--and I have found it elsewhere. The RedNova story is USAToday story, not one that uses the USAToday story as a reference. More in the immediately following post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The article is also posted on Forbes.com. It must have been on a wire service for syndication. Hopefully, USAtoday will move forward in their print version with the article.