Friday, January 11, 2008

LUS Groundbreaking in the Media

The media covered yesterday's groundbreaking in force. The Advocate, the Advertiser, and KLFY all have online stories you can check into.

The Advocate's story is the most extensive. In addition to covering the statements by public officials it also explored recently let contracts:

Chain Electric out of Hattiesburg, Miss., has been awarded the approximate $11 million contract to install underground lines — in areas where utility lines are already buried.

Where utility lines are already on poles, the lines will be run by an Indiana company, ElectriCom Inc., as part of a $4 million contract.

But the reporter tripped up a bit when trying to summarize the recent contracts as Blanchard acknowledged when I dropped him a quick question. But the Advocate quickly corrected it online. I've edited this post to account for that, striking the parts that no longer apply. The following bit that appeared in printed edition isn't correct:
LUS Fiber’s Mona Simon said only one of those contracts — the underground line contract — came in under budget. The same goes for the head-end building construction, as well as the large contract with Alcatel-Lucent, which is providing all the large electronics including the boxes that will be at customers’ homes and businesses.

In fact, you need to invert that meaning: only the underground line contract came in over budget.

The story has been corrected online--the portion struck above portion now reads:
LUS Fiber’s Mona Simon said only one of those contracts — the underground line contract — came in over budget.
That's not entirely surprising since digging up yards carries a lot of unknown risks--nobody can "look" at the job and see what it really entails. I'd bid high on any job of which I wasn't confident.

If you're curious as to how LUS will pick the first area to be served (and who isn't?) you should check out the story:

LUS is picking the initial areas on using three sets of criteria, Huval said.

The first is which areas could provide the most potential customers at the lowest cost.

The second is which areas have a good mixture of residential and commercial — though with an emphasis on residential, as those customers are more likely to sign up in larger numbers.

The third is an area with a mixture of overhead and underground utility lines — again, with an emphasis on overhead lines because running fiber on poles is faster than having to bury them.

The idea of picking a diverse area is to get early experience and feedback in all aspects of the roll-out, Huval said.

That would describe almost any area of the city....though I'm personally hoping that it best describes the residential areas right around downtown. ;-)

The Advertiser's story is much briefer and focused more exclusively on the event and quotable quotes from the participants.

Huval said the service will have a long-lasting impact for residents and businesses.

"The real purpose is to provide a super broadband highway," Huval said. "We're going to be primed for new technology."

City-Parish President Joey Durel said the service is going to "be something much greater than we ever dreamed."

"We have underpromised, and we're going to overdeliver," Durel said. "A lot of things had to come together, but it's here and it's going to happen and we're going to knock your socks off."

There's a picture of of Huval with Mike Stagg, Keith Thibodeaux, John St. Julien, and Gobb Williams in the background. (I'm still looking for that pic with with Gobb Williams and Durel both holding golden shovels, digging them into the council carpet, and grinning like mad.)

KLFY has only the briefest of stories, but if you own a windows machine you can probably view the video. (I'm weary of complaining...but will note that the mac market share has hit 8%, and the percentage of internet users on that platform is higher yet... Maybe the Advertiser will publish one of its nifty multimedia stories that are easily the best edited, and most accessible, net video in Lafayette.)

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