Thursday, January 19, 2006

Standing Up--Gene Flyte

Gene Flyte of Lafayette is angry at BellSouth...and wants to cut BellSouth out of any benefits of LUS' current fiber loops. I'm not sure that BellSouth makes much use of the fiber loop (though they would if they were half so smart as they think they are). It's certainly true that the days of "helping out" a "local" business by arranging backups and interconnects should be over with BellSouth who has conspicuously forfeited any right to be considered a good citizen of the community.

I've no doubt that BellSouth simply doesn't care about these matters but I do think they should know that resentful reactions like Gene's are common. Given the chance, the people of this community will be more than happy to leave BellSouth "out of the loop" whenever the opportunity offers. BellSouth should hope that its federal lobbying effort to exempt itself from the local franchise obligations that other video operators have always had will succeed. If it fails the people of Lafayette will be in no mood to cut BellSouth any kind of deal at all.

(A large part of the reason that BellSouth feels free to abuse local communities in ways that Cox hesitates to do is that Cox actually has to deal with local communities to be able to offer local service and BellSouth, exempted by federal law years ago, does not. Cox has been silent recently and, astute readers may have noticed that the council declined to bump up the 3% franchise fees it currently pays to anything like the 5% it could charge by federal statute. I suggest that Cox's silence and the council's forbearance are connected. And that BellSouth ought to have to deal with the same issues if they want to go into competition with Cox and LUS to offer video.)

Mr. Flyte also has a bone to pick with ULL for not stepping up to the plate on fiber. He's right. UL is a wonderful part of this community but they've given evidence, with the horse farm issue and with museum questions and, yes, with their inactivity on fiber, that they may have forgotten that that is true. I fear that the old boy network that Joey Durel attacked during last year's state of the city-parish address is at work here as they appear to be in the other situations that have embarrassed ULL recently. Old friends, old connections, past favors...they should go out the door when the good of the community is at stake.


Anonymous said...

Why don't we have a city-parish attorney who's competent enough to interpret the laws? Stop blaming BellSouth for the incompetence of LUS. First we were told that they didn't have to put the fiber project up for a vote.Then they wasted our money trying to push through a bond ordinance that wasn't in compliance with the local government fair competition act. Where does it stop? What other laws are they breaking? We need a watchdog.

John said...

What we really need is some folks who are willing to back up their scurilous opinions with the coin of their real name.

BellSouth knows that they are breaking their word in pursuing this suit, as does the author of the bill, the PSC, the city and LUS. Cox apparently agrees since they've chosen not to pursue this path with their bosum buddies BellSouth. The evidence is overwhelming that BellSouth is doing what BellSout does best compete via lobbyist and lawsuit. People who defend these monopolists when they finally, after trying at least 5 seperate bites at this apple, get someone to buy their guff need to ask themselves if they are just tools of their corporate masters.

We need to get over giving any credence to folks who take pot shots at honorable men while hiding in their dank little hidey-hole of anonymity.

Anonymous said...

That is simply amazing logic. The legislature, comprised of some several hundred people, negioate a bill, reduce it to writing, vote on it, the governor agrees with it so he signs it and it becomes law. Then the courts rule that LUS has violated the very law they all agreed on, (for the 2nd time) and that it is attempting to practice unfair competition. But somehow Bell is the one who is breaking their "word". And now its gotten to the point where if anyone who even accepts the courts decision is a "tool of their corporate masters". Could there be a remote possibly be that you have misread the law?

None one I know loves bell south, cox or any other telecommunications provider. No one is doing their bidding or is a "tool of their corporate masters". Everyone would love to see more competition against bell and cox, but even the government has to follow the law. Don't you agree? Are do you think we should just ignore the courts?

John said...

Did we decide that attacking honorable men from hiding was ok? I must have missed that part. Your ignoring it does not change the raw advantage you are taking.

On Logic: It doesn't seem amazing to me at all.

Yes, Lafayette has had losses in the courts...but I am convinced those could have been won on appeal. And said so, strongly, on these pages.

You raise a straw man with the following the law business. No one but the current federal administration believes that ignoring the law is ok. I certainly don't and have never hinted at it.

You can wander back through my posts to see where "Noble" Ellington, author of the unfair act said he didn't think BellSouth should be suing, that the points had been settled in discussion. The PSC was so upset at BellSouth's attempt to end-run its rule-makeing that it complained to the court. Cox refuses to follow BellSouth into this travesty. Take a look at the langauge of the law and the declared intent of the passage and tell me, honestly, if you think that the legislature put in a clause with the express purpose of letting LUS use all its assets to secure the best bond rates and intended for the court to find that the bonds had to go into default to gain access to those assets. Going into default is NOT going to help your bond rating. That just doesn't make sense.

So I don't think my logic amazing. I find the court's introduction of some distinction between a pledge and an assignment strange and strained and, yes, suspicious. I'm a Lousiana native.