Tuesday, June 19, 2007

WBS: Delays Pay in Lafayette Fiber Project!

What's Being Said dept.

Friend of Lafayette David Isenberg comments on the latest in the Lafayette Fiber To The Home saga in the post: Delays Pay in Lafayette Fiber Project! In it he celebrates the silver lining of the dark cloud of incumbent delay:
The kicker is that the cost of the delay, including $1.1 million in legal fees, have been more than offset by technology improvements in the last three years that lower the cost and make the buildout faster.
He's got a point, I'll reluctantly grant.

More, it appears that we didn't pay a price in terms of the cost of the bonds over the years of the delay. Though the interest rate has steadily risen since the council voted the go-ahead in 04, the municipal bond market has not tracked that as I once mistakenly thought. The interest rates paid by municipal bonds were higher in 2004 than they are today. So, all things equal, we've saved money over the life of the bonds by the delay. On the other hand if we could have sold in 2006 we'd have got a better deal yet as municipal rates were lower then. (See munibondadvisor.com for revealing graphs.)

Isenberg does, however, correctly note the opportunity cost lost:
(Of course, we will never know the cost of not having the network in place three years earlier.)
But in terms of cash outlays, technology, and the speed of the build itself, the delays have not hurt Lafayette.

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