Eatel launched its new fiber-optic television service Tuesday in Ascension Parish, putting it in competition with Cox Communications.Lafayette readers may recall EATEL as a former sponsor of local festival events and an aggressive competitor for BellSouth who used to offer good deals on phone service. All that's past, of course, since BellSouth and the other baby bells got the FCC to effectively end the regulated competition that allowed EATEL and other carriers like ATT into that market.
Dubbed FiberEdge, the Gonzales telecom company's digital TV service provides access to more than 300 channels. They include 47 commercial-free digital music channels; digital pay-per-view; specialized sports and high-definition channels; a digital video recorder service that lets consumers pause, rewind, record and replay live TV; and high-definition TV packages.
EATEL, a small, nimble, locally-owned company which seems to actually care about its customers, turned around and reinvested its earnings in building a state-of-the-art fiber optic network for its core customers. It's clear proof, should any be needed, that fiber is an economic investment--for companies that choose to invest in upgrading their own infrastructure as a way of driving long-term growth. Other companies, like BellSouth for instance, invest in get-rich-quick schemes like trying to own Central America's wireless companies, and end up selling out at fire sale prices. They then turn around and pay their CEO as if he wasn't running a company that was allowing its core business to decay each year. Of all the regional telephone companies, only Verizon, apparently, hopes to continue in the landline business. It's pushing forward with a major fiber build at locations all across its footprint.