Thursday, July 28, 2005

WBS: In Hawaii

What's Being Said (WBS) Dept.

If you are as bored of the hooraw over the council members visit to Hawaii as I am you might have neglected to read down to the tidbit about fiber in yesterday's article. (What? You say you don't read the paper only for fiber news? I'm shocked.)

Anyway here is the short:
Lafayette became the talk of the NACo conference, Stevenson said, when voters in the city on July 16 gave Lafayette Utilities System permission to launch a controversial fiber-to-the-home project at a cost of up to $125 million.

'They were pretty amazed by the outcome of the election because it didn't pass anywhere before,' he said. 'Anyplace that had put it to a vote of the people, it always lost.'

The conference attendees discussed two pending competing bills in Congress dealing with municipal fiber projects. One bill would allow municipalities like Lafayette to offer telecommunications services. The other would prohibit the practice.

The prohibitive legislation's passage would be bad for the rest of the nation but could be good for Lafayette if LUS' project is grandfathered in. That would make Lafayette the largest municipality to offer low-cost fiber and telecommunications services and restrict other municipalities from following suit.
All easy jokes aside, I am sure that Lafayette's victory was the talk of the conference. Telecom issues are a surprisingly important local issue and with the Feds trying to outlaw local franchises (and along with it franchise fees, local access channels, and universal service) public official across the country must wish they could get free of their dependency on the telecom corporations.

No comments: