Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Strange Fiber Bedfellows?

The Independent's Nathan Stubbs covers, for the first time in the mainstream media, a story we broke here last Thursday: the news that the incumbents have begun to make "overtures" to LUS and the city. That story, Cracks in the Axis of Evil? Is Cox Seeking a Place at LUS Table? Cox Makes "Overtures" was based on news that Joey Durel had mentioned such talks at a Rotary breakfast, a fact later confirmed by Durel via blackberry and email.
Here's the heart of the Ind's story:
Riding high on favorable coverage the fiber initiative received in two recent USA Today articles (including an endorsement of the plan), Durel says some of the top executives with the two national companies may now be ready to talk about ways they can work with Lafayette Consolidated Government.

"Anyone that wants to come talk to us has got to put an extremely sincere and serious offer on the table," he says. "Otherwise it will only be a five-minute conversation.'
Apparently BellSouth, ever arrogant, suggested that Lafayette could trek to Atlanta to talk about it. Partisans will be pleased to note Durel's response:
"Our attitude is basically, tell Atlanta to come to us. We're here,"
Some disarray in Cox's ranks seems likely. While Durel continues to say Cox has made the trek to city hall, Cox's local representative, Cassard, is unaware of any visit. The rumor mill has it that Cox's exTCA staff and much of the personnel associated with the early stages of the battle (For instance, the infamous TJ Crawdad (1) (2)) are gone, leaving Cassard virtually the only local or regional representative of the old regime. Possibly he is no longer in the loop.

While I personally remain reserved about handing these guys any of the income that LUS will need to secure the network I'd love to see how they might bring new revenue to the table. Remember, they had a chance to be participants and chose to trash our community, now they come as beggars to the feast.

Reservations aside, there is no question but that this is major news. Even if nothing comes of it, it is now apparent that the talks are at least feelers--and it can only mean that the big boys are bracing for LUS' success. And, like good businessmen everywhere, trying to figure out how they can profit from the new reality.

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