Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Fiber For The Future at AOC

I caught the Fiber For The Future show on AOC last night and have to say I was impressed. The show's format is a combination of "host and guests" and call in show. The show is on every Monday from 5:30 to 6:15.

Now if you're like me you're likely to think the whole idea pretty cheesy. But Dee Stanley actually makes a pretty good talk show host. He even manages to ask some of the of the hard questions. Now you know, and I know, that doing that is good tactics. Answer those questions when you've got control of the context. But its hard to do and even harder to bring off. It actually works well for them. The conversational format helps make it informative whether whether or not you've followed it all closely.

Dee hosted, with Terry Huval and consultant Doug Dawson, whose firm wrote the original feasibility study, playing guests. A couple of things worth mentioning here came up. One was that Dawson mentioned an FCC study that showed a 15 to 17 percent percent drop in rates in cities that had competitive cable services. Considering that only about 2% of American's have access to competitive cable that's a pretty good sign that most of us are paying monopoly rates for our cable.

But the most interesting revelation of the night was news adding detail to just how determined LUS is to make it easy to buy services from them. A recent letter to the editor tried to imply that apartment dwellers and condo owners were not going to be served. That was crazy, of course, why would LUS ever abandon so lucrative a market? But what the detailed denial on the show made it clear that, in the absence of other, better, alternatives, LUS is prepared to transfer your internet signal from fiber as it comes into the building to your electrical circuits —in an apartment, or in your home. All you'd have to do is plug an inexpensive device to any electrical outlet in the house and the plug your computer into that box and, voila, you have access to the internet. As far as LUS is concerned if you've got power, they can get signal to you. This revelation surprised me...but it was very interesting and means that even someone who has never any form of internet or cable before will be able to get connected without running any additional wiring into their home.

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