Friday, July 27, 2007

Congressional Policy & Lafayette

Dick Durbin, Senator from Illinois, has been holding a nightly public forum on telecom policy issues online over the last three nights and tonights question is: "What do we need to to do to encourage investment in broadband infrastructure?" Lafayette's network is being featured as an example:
Tonight, I'd like to focus on other ways to provide incentives to build broadband networks. Public/private initiatives like Connect Kentucky have achieved success where the market alone has failed. Other projects like Lafayette, Louisiana's Fiber for the Future and Utah's UTOPIA project have also made significant steps.

Durbin also features Lafayette as an example on the video lead-in to the forum:


Louisiana is being mentioned in the same light as Connect Kentucky and the Utopia Projects—both state-wide efforts that have garnered a lot of positive comment in Washington and on the net. Each night has featured well-known national experts and advocates of broadband. Tonight's features Jim Baller, who aided LUS and Lafayette during the fiber fight, Paul Morris of Utopia, and Andrew McNeil of Connect Kentucky.

Lafayette's Partisan's might want to attend the forum at 6:00. Durbin is hoping to draft new law on broadband availability and this discussion is a chance to talk to a major policy maker directly. Federal legislation is one of the few forces that might get AT&T and Cox off LUS' back. The format is a "Live Blog" done in what I think of as "Drupal Style" --meaning that there is a long string of responses and responses to responses and anyone can pitch in with their remarks. The first three nights have been interesting and this last one, with its exploration of real, in-the-world alternatives, promises to be even more contentious and useful.

NOTE: the active forum has opened up at a new URL. Go to: http://openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=451

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