Thursday, October 19, 2006

Da Bog: The fiber battle gets major airtime on national television

I just traveled over to the Ind's new blog and found an interesting entry on last night's PBS show that covered Lafayette's fiber fight. (I've yet to develop the habit of visiting regularly. The quality is very uneven but Tutweiler and Jordan's stuff is pretty consistently worth the click.)

Here's the bit I found worth repeating here:
City-Parish President Joey Durel, LUS director Terry Huval and a number of principals of the Lafayette Coming Together pro-fiber community activist group (Don Bertrand, Stephen Handwerk, Gob Williams, Layne St. Julien) all got airtime and made reasoned, strong arguments for LUS’ fiber-to-the-home program. Huval was particularly compelling and detailed the all-out efforts of Cox Communications and BellSouth to derail the project. The most telling moment came in one sentence: when the reporter on the piece said, “Cox Communications and BellSouth declined to speak with us.” Why didn’t two nationally known companies defend their actions in Lafayette and promote their alternative plans on a national television forum? It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to answer that question.
(From my memory of the show I'd add Andre Comeaux to the list of LCT folks who got airtime.)

LCT received meager coverage during the fiber fight from local media even as it designed and ran the ground war "For Fiber" campaign. Those red and black "For Fiber" signs and billboards, the pages of endorsements, the canvassing, radio spots and the direct mail were all LCT projects--as was a series of clever viral email campaigns and the well-received "Fiber Film Festival." In fact the only visible parts of the political campaign that weren't LCT originated was some of the TV advertising in the last week or so. So it was gratifying to see Scott and LPB acknowledge the organization.

Beyond that is the very good question of why Cox and BellSouth didn't defend their actions. The answer, of course, is that in any forum that is not controlled by their money or influence their actions are indefensible--as Scott intimates.

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