Thursday, January 13, 2005

Cracks in the Axis of Evil? Is Cox Seeking a Place at LUS Table? Cox Makes "Overtures"

Just the facts folks:

There are indications that the unnatural alliance between Cox and BellSouth in opposition to the LUS fiber to the premises plan has begun to shatter.

While BellSouth has rushed to join the petition effort to force a referendum on the LUS fiber plan, erstwhile ally Cox has been conspicuous by its absence and its silence.

Well, it turns out the Cox has been talking, but not with the Fiber 411 crowd. No, Cox has been talking with Mayor-President Joey Durel about dropping its opposition to the LUS plan.

First confirmation of Cox-CG talks came in the form of a phone call from fiber foe Bill LeBlanc to John St. Julien on Thursday morning. In the call, LeBlanc revealed that he'd talked to a Rotary Club president who had chaired a breakfast yesterday (Wednesday) where Durel made reference such talks.

Lafayette Pro Fiber queried Durel by email asking if such a statement had been made. In a response from his Blackberry, Durel confirmed that Cox had, indeed, made "overtures" to him about the possibility of the company dropping its opposition to the LUS plan.

In a follow-up email, Durel remarked that there was no offer, that nothing had been put on the table, and that, given the history of Cox's efforts to derail the project to date, he wasn't sure that it was anything more than a tactic.

However, Durel said that he wants Cox to know that the door is open to further, substantive talks about advancing the fiber project.

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My.

We'll hold our usual editorializing (except for the title) until the picture clarifies. But this should be very interesting.








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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is such a great post. I too have heard that Cox is reducing their opposition, and that they can clearly see that the Lafayette community wants to be unique. Hence, Cox's move to brand themselves in the Lafayette community with the "cajun" flair commercials. Sure hope that they don't forget the "creole" flair.

I know that the Durel administration has long wanted a public private partnership. However, none of the companies would come to them with a division. I believe that Cox realized that this project was out of their control when they started to see the benifits of FTTH and the types of services that they could deliver. Should be interesting to see if anyone can actually make something work.

FiberFolk said...

I've noticed the large uptick in feel-good Cox ads and a new local flair ads. You're right that they still don't get it until they can pull in the creole, and for that matter all the elements of our mix. Playing straight to cajuns is an outsiders take. (You can bet LUS won't step in that one.)

I am of mixed opinion about Cox coming aboard. I want to see where they'd produce new revenue, not just cut into the revenue that LUS has been counting on to pay out our bonds.