Thursday, August 28, 2008

LUS Fiber news @ the C-P Council

LUS presented its budget to the city-parish council last night and the Advertiser headline read "LUS utility bills may drop." The gist of that story was that Terry Huval, the head of the utility, expects the fuel adjustment rate --an amount the PSC allows to be tacked onto your rates due to the changing cost of fuel--to fall. That shows some confidence that fuel costs will fall...a confidence I wish I shared.

More interesting was a brief mention of LUS reducing costs by leading the charge to convince Congress to to change "non-effective" laws having to do with coal. If that seemed a bit confusing when you looked at the article you need some background and Lafayette pro fiber is happy to serve (see 1, 2) . Huval is referring to Lafayette's first "last mile" monopoly situation: the overcharge the monopoly railroad charges to tote coal the last few miles to our generating plant near Alex. AT&T and Cox are just the latest monopolists to impose costs on Lafayette's people. Better federal regulation is being sought to correct the coal situation. (We're working on a home-grown solution to AT&T and Cox.)

But for avid followers of LUS' Fiber plans there was some straight on fiber news. The standard fiber news:

Huval added that LUS plans to soon open a customer service center at the corner of Pinhook and Kaliste Saloom roads. That location would house a showcase area for the Fiber-to-the-Home initiative, and serve as a call center for customers.

The first Fiber-to-the-Home customers are expected to receive service in January.

The showcase has been mentioned before and with the January light-up date are indications that everything is still on track. (Hurrican Gustav's threat is worrisome in that regard. If Gustav comes up through Barataria Bay as a category 3 storm we'll lose a lot of poles. While the electrical outage, with the help of regional colleagues of LUS, won't last long we can't expect the same sort of ability to help in getting the fiber reworked. A delay might well result.)

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