Aside from Baton Rouge's unaccountable Austin envie Charles Hall's letter in todays Advocate is a model of clear thinking about broadband and community issues. My honest recommendation is to go read it and only bother with my commentary if you've got a little extra time on your hands this Saturday morning. Hall says it all very well.
He points out several really salient points, not all of which are obvious to all: Hall realizes that broadband is a modern necessity for development, that most of that development should be expected to be in small businesses, and that attracting large business has mostly failed (not saying that it has proven an unproductive race to the bottom with local and state giveaways diluting its positive impact). He's smart about pricing, noting that with computer cost dipping below 300 dollars the real barrier to wider adoption of new technologies is in monthly broadband costs, (something we get here in Lafayette) and that locales like Austing broadband is significantly cheaper broadband that helps fuel new economy growth.
Hall mentions Lafayatte's path as one solution but lists others, including EATEL's example, oft praised here like our own local Kaplan Telephone, and WiFi/WiMax --a last mile solution which depends on a second mile backhaul solution that Baton Rouge also lacks. Lafayette's advantage, as always, is LUS and its infrastructure.
Go give it a read. Good stuff.