This follows on the heels of UL's development of a gaming curriculum, the announcement that Ninjaneering was to bring significant resources to Lafayette (partly on the basis of publicly owned fiber) and Doug's notice of the formation of a Louisiana game developers association.
Digital gaming development requires the most advanced technology around and a network capable of moving lots of data around cheaply and quickly is a crucial part of that equation. What Lafayette will soon have in a municipal fiber network will seriously reduce the barriers to entry for small shops of independent developers. Large projects can be broken up and farmed out in parts to specialty shops. There will be no need to bring everyone together in a single warehouse somewhere, working for a single employer, in order to gain the benefits of a fast intranet. Lafayette will be that fast intranet. LUS' fiber net may well be fast enough to support distributed rendering over the public net at a reasonable price. That would further lower the hardware barriers to entry, allowing an savvy tech guy to put together a killer render farm to serve the entire community of developers.
This has the potential to be big business for Lafayette--by enabling a large number of small, innovative, young "garage" developers. Business that would not be available without cheap, fast, community-owned infrastructure.
From the story:
"A lot of kids out there who have started early thinking about their careers, would love to be game designers, programmers, artists, independent developers,' Zuzolo said. 'But they really don't have any idea, other than what they talk about with their friends or what's on the Internet, about how to go about that career path."