Monday, January 24, 2005

"After telecom's long, hot summer, cooler heads could prevail"

First the good news: We have an "editorial" (actually an analytical piece since no actual judgment is ever passed about what would be preferable) from the Advertiser which appears to be premised on the assumption that LUS could do the job it has asked to do and that private companies might be wise to let LUS do it.

Now the bad news: The Advertisers' Bill Decker, who has had plenty of time to educate himself since his unreasoning initial attack on the very idea (a rant which had something to do with socialism and five year plans) remains a fount of misinformation even as he clearly tries to be even handed.

The basic point of the essay is that Cox and BellSouth might be wise to reach an agreement with the city and LUS; that's true--and obvious as we have noted in these pages since the beginning. It acknowledges that LUS success would lead to economic development and that LUS' plan might well help in bridging the divide between the haves and the have nots on this issue. It's a good thing to see the business editor of the paper recognize these fundamental truths.

Now a list of misinformation:
  • The basic idea that the conflict has been like a mob war with both sides "going to the mat."
    • Honestly, only one side went to the mat. BellSouth and Cox. LUS set up a defensive perimeter and reacted to attack but never went after the incumbents with anything like the vicious attack we saw from Cox and BellSouth. There is a difference and to ignore for the sake of a cheap metaphor does the community a disservice.

  • Putting forward the idea at this late stage that the plan is unwise and somehow "immoral" for not putting the interests of huge, out-of-state monopoly corporations ahead of the interests of Lafayette.
    • Say what? A funny sort of morality you have there sir.

  • That investors might prefer a public infrastructure-only role for LUS and that such a role would be less risky than reaping retail profit.
    • One shouldn't have to point out to a business editor that its wholesale telecom, that has been risky in the last decade and last-mile retail that has bee profitable. A business plan that hands profit over to active competitors, as Decker is implying is just this side of irrational. That's the sort of mistake that investors notices. Its' sort of obvious. (Please note that even the Mayor of Provo, which is building a structurally divided system, acknowledges that Lafayette's plan is the stronger.)

  • Decker tells the people of the parish that Cox will makeup loses in the city by raising rates on the parish.
    • This is a damnable lie and Becker cannot have the job he has and believe it. Does anyone seriously think that Cox, the dominant cable company across the south will have any need to ameliorate losses in the city by overcharging a few in our little parish? Especially since it would make certain that LUS, for political reasons alone, will compete there as well? Never in a million years.

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