Friday, August 11, 2006

Coverage of the third circuit loss

I've been contacted by folks wondering where I am. ...

North Carolina, on the outer banks. :-) And loving the break from the ordinary. Worked into the wee hours on a website and flew out of BR early, early in the morn. I'm going to crash and try and grab some sleep before my friends come in.

But here's the links folks have grown to expect. Late, I know. But still:

The Advocate: LUS loses fiber-optic suit appeal
The Advertiser: Fiber effort hits roadblock

I've still not read the decision fully but Blanchard has proven trustworthy:
“The ‘provision of covered services,’ contemplated by the Fair Competition Act does not include the ‘payment of bond obligations,’ ” according to the 3rd Circuit’s ruling.
Well...That's not what LUS--nor apparently even the "author" of the legislation--thought thought they were agreeing to. It's also what every other company in the world does as a regular part of doing business. Bridge loans, internal loans, hell, BellSouth will use its profits from Cingular ratepayers to prop up it's dying wireline business. The decision is fundamentally unjust.

More when I've had the time to look over materials.

But...hey I'm for fighting. LUS and the city has never appealed and adverse decision. I've argued with that before. I'll being doing so again. The fact that the incumbents want to change the game in the middle should be no surprise. That why the (un)Fair Act was pushed by BellSouth and Cox from the beginning--they wanted to change the rules to benefit themselves. Initially by essentially making the LUS project impossible and then, when compromise was forced on them, to try and cripple the enterprise.

But this interpretation from the 3rd Circuit is not what Lafayette's folks understood to be the compromise deal that was agreed upon. If part of the law is obfuscated by legalese that the court chooses to focus on other parts are clear...the law was supposed to let LUS do what other companies are able to do commercially. That's what the legislators "gave back" to LUS...and that is what the Third Circuit is taking away.

I don't think LUS and the city have much of a choice: the people voted for the plan that was out there. Lafayette is committed by that vote to trying to make it work. The third circuit is a lost cause. Appeal to the Lousiana Supreme Court. If it loses there bring it that clear and final decision to the legislature; make them look at what was done with their "fair deal" and demand repeal.


There's never any way but forward.

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