Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Broussard's Wireless Redux

The Advertiser's weekly local mag covering Broussard and Youngsville repeats a story today about Broussard's prospective wireless project. (previous coverage) There's really not much of anything new in it--save that reading between the lines of the reporter's confusion makes one believe that what they are really contemplating is a form of wireless known as WiMax.

Still no acknowledgement from the Advertiser that the implicit assumption that the basic public safety wireless system be as easily opened up to public use is wrong. Like the New Orleans system public safety system that the city recently announced it was taking down, a public system with any usable speed would be illegal under the Local Government (un)Fair Competition Act. This is the same incumbent protection act that is being used to block Lafayette's fiber system. It'd be nice if the residents of the Broussard and Youngsville were apprised of what they are getting into. But, sadly, the reporter at the Advertiser seems unaware that there is a connection between the fiber story that dominated discussion in Lafayette last year and a proposed wireless system in Broussard.

I understand that the chief purpose of such weekly broadsides is to prevent little local weeklies from cutting into ad revenue for the Advertiser. No one should expect award-winning reporting. Still it'd be nice if something as obvious and important as the illegality of the plan Broussard is promoting were mentioned.

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