Thursday, February 28, 2008

Joey's Washington Talk

I've posted an (audio-only) "movie" of Durel's remarks at the House hearing on broadband and wireless networks to YouTube for your listening satisfaction.



It's a very Joey Durel speech. There's a touch of humor, some testiness, some pride, a bit of anger, and a dash of drama. You heard it during the fiber fight and you can remind yourself how hopeful that sounded back in the day by listening to this latest installment.

And it's worth the listen. Tidbits to whet your appetite:

He emphasized the purpose of keeping our children home...a central, perhaps the central theme, of the fiber fight.

About Lafayette's network:
We're going to have something—and I think this is a strong statement—we're going to have, that you are probably not going to have in Washington for 20-25 years from now.... And I think that is a sin for America... And when I say that, and I'm not just stressing the fiber optics....We are going to be able to provide our citzens, peer to peer, customer to customer, a 100 megabits for free.
Later he corrected himself to say that you'd have to buy some level of service...but that your insystem, "intranet" bandwidth would be that fast and wouldn't cost extra. That wowed the committee and they asked about it later.

About the digital divide:
People on our system will be able surf the internet from their television's with a wireless keypad and a wireless mouse.
That is the really new news from this session. I know what folks have been talking about and I am not positive what this refers to but I suspect that what Durel is referring to is a settop box arrangement where you can surf and work email from the same box that decodes your cable signal. I like the idea—if it is done right and it would be easy to get very wrong. ....More when I know more.

On Congress acting to protect municipal broadband— With tongue firmly in cheek Durel said:
I hope 49 states outlaw doing what we are doing....What I would tell those states is: "Please send your technology companies to Lafayette and we'll welcome them with open arms and a gumbo."
The point he was making was that he really hoped was that the Congress would pass the law they were discussing at the hearing and give other communities the right to follow Lafayette's lead.

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