The printed version of the story (but not the online one) contains what looks to be a listing of all hourly wages of the division's 47 current employees. The 14.16/hr is the lowest paying job on the list.
Of the employees, five are fiber optics technicians who make anywhere from $22.71 to $25.14 per hour. There are also four communication network technicians, all of whom make around $18 an hour.
There also are two customer service supervisors, one of whom is paid $27.25 per hour and the other who is paid $23.12 per hour. Two communications customer service representatives are each paid $14.16 per hour.
Those are good jobs—steady, good-paying Lafayette jobs. Folks should be reassured that the community network will produce a core of good-paying high-tech jobs in Lafayette solely on the basis of maintaining the network.
The rest of the story is pretty much a recounting of the contract costs. Again, the printed version has a long listing of the contract amounts and a sketchy label telling what the company supplies.
I can wish for more complete reporting....what's missing is any context, any background, any education of the public. Providing such is the civic purpose of any newspaper.
For instance, about wages: How much money do these wages add up to? It's common in businesse reporting to report on the total wages that a new company will bring into the local economy. Are these wages comparable to the others in the industry? To wages paid by local competitors like Cox and AT&T. How many employees of Cox and AT&T are based in Lafayette? (If the private providers refuse to reveal such information that too should be part of the reporting.)
Or about contracts: A sentence or two of background on the low-bid law governing the awarding of contracts might be useful as would be some indication of just how specialized the work is and how large this project is. This is a big enough network that there are really few companies world-wide that could tackle it. The specialized network equipment—like the IP-capable Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) is likewise only available in the large quantities required from a few companies with world-wide reach.