Saturday, February 07, 2009

WBS: "Lafayette, La., finally gets its fiber network"

What's Being Said Dept.

Marguerite Reardon over at CNet has been following the Lafayette Fiber saga since the beginning (and posted on-target pieces both on the fight and on the victory) so it's not surprising to see that she's capped that with a good piece on "Lafayette, La., finally gets its fiber network."
After nearly five years of planning and fighting with local cable and phone companies, the Lafayette Utilities System opened its fiber-optic broadband network for business.
Whew! I thought it was more than "discussions"..... and, on CNet's account the fight was actually about something:

It's easy to see why Cox Communications, the local cable operator, and AT&T, which bought local phone company BellSouth, are threatened by LUS. Pricing for the new triple play services are very competitive. Consumers can get a triple play bundle from about $85 to $200 a month. And the broadband services offer download and upload speeds between 10Mbps to 50Mbps. The standalone broadband service costs about $29 for symmetrical 10Mbps downloads and uploads; $45 for 30Mbps, and $58 for 50Mbps service. The service doesn't require a contract and there's no installation fee.

The maximum download speed offered by AT&T is 6Mbps for $43 a month. And it's cheapest is a 768Kbps service for $20 a month. Cox only offers Internet download speeds up to 15Mbps. Depending on what specific services are selected, bundled pricing from AT&T and Cox is comparable. The big exception is that AT&T and Cox offer these prices as part of a promotion, whereas LUS prices are the actual standard prices and will not expire.

Lafayette is just one of many cities that has tried to build it own broadband network. Other cities and regions such as Provo, Utahhave attempted to do the same thing. In nearly every instance, cable and phone companies have tried to prevent these network build outs.

Now just why is it that to get coverage that notices the real history, the actual fight, a succienct comparison of the offerings, and the real reasons why the incumbents (rightly) feared a community network we have to a national tech news source?

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