Just thought that you should all know....the 3rd circuit has ruled against LUS and Lafayette.
I have yet to read the 19 page decision and so don't understand the basis for the decision (available at: http://www.la3circuit.org/opinions/2006/08/081006/06-0904opi.pdf) but the bottom line is that LUS lost.
Terry Huval tells me that that they're not going to say anything specific about the ruling until they digest it, that it could mean a rehearing by (I presume) the full 3rd Circuit or could go direct to the State Supreme Court. An appeal was in the in the works by one or another of the parties anyway....so there will be no more delay than was already in the works.
He also says that if the ruling stands it will become clearer that Louisiana’s “Local Government Fair Competition Act” is a nothing more than a barrier to entry for local governments wanting to provide telecommunications services, despite an overwhelming public vote in favor of such an initiative.
In that he is absolutely right.
This makes me mad. And that probably doesn't help anyone. :-)
I will say this upfront: If this interpretation of the law is upheld it reduces the whole law to nonsense and should quiet anyone who claims that this law was supposed to be about "fairness." It would put restrictions on one company---and only one company--that NONE of the its competitors would have to endure. It would mean that little LUS, whose whole territory is the city of Lafayette, couldn't even borrow from itself. This while its enormous competitors can rake in monopoly profits from every state in the southeast and in Cox's situation far beyond and use it as they please. Their profits from, for instance Cingular wireless, or any other division can be used as the please. Can you imagine the uproar if anyone tried to suggest that Cox or BellSouth couldn't use their profits to start a new division? Justice and equity has nothing to do with this. There is nothing fair about the law. If our legislators are to craven to repeal it, they ought, at least, be willing to add the four characters I always add:
The Local Government (un)Fair Competition Act.
Recall please, that even the bill's author said that BellSouth is challenging aspects of the law he thought were agreed to in discussions. This law and its absurdist internal contradictions is being used to frustrate the express desires of the people. This sort of hypertechnical decision. based on legalistic definitions that make no sense in common usage or the context of the law destroys people's faith in the legal system.
It's not only Cox, BellSouth, Naquin, and a batch of lawyers from across the basin who should be ashamed: it's the third circuit as well.