Thursday, October 22, 2009

One Story? Economic Development

Some days there's not "a" story but several stories taken together that tell the tale. I suspect that today is such a day.

Here's a list of marginally interesting stories that have hit today: Firm relocating to Lafayette (Advocate), City lands corporate office (Advertiser), LUS Fiber expands Internet service (Advertiser), Lafayette, LA: Best places ranking: #2 among midsize metro areas (CNN Money) and Lafayette Location Of Transcom Announces 700 New Jobs (KATC--from earlier this month). Each one interesting and encouraging enough in its own right.

Together they tell a tale of a city that, even in these hard times, is expanding its job market, making itself attractive to newcomers, and is providing shockingly cheap net services to small businesses. Most of the story, frankly, is in those headlines...the meat of the stories add detail but not substance.

Without making the silly claim that all of this was driven by fiber, I have to say that I think that LUS' fiber network is not getting its fair share of the credit in the stories. The 700 jobs that Transom brought? Don't recall those guys? Well, Transcom is the new corporate parent of NuConn...the call center guys that constituted Lafayette's first big, directly-connected-to-the-fiber-vote win. Back when NuConn/Transcom first came to town they were clear that fiber—and the community's gumption in voting it in—were the deciding factor in coming to Lafayette. As far as being able to run an engineering/consulting firms' national corporate office out of a mid-tier city like Lafayette? NOT possible without really massive, really world-class connectivity. The fact that it is as cheap as dirt here is only a huge cherry on top of having that sort of connectivity available at all. Engineering firms are among the most voracious of bandwidth users. Without really good connectivity there'd be no such firm considering a move to our fair town. And that brings up the announcement of a 100 megs of symmetrical bandwidth being available to every business, small or large, in every neighborhood, rich or poor, in the city for the crazy price of $199.95. Or the low end (low?) version of 10 megs symmetrical for $64.95? This has got to be the best place to start up your own garage internet business around.

Credit where credit's due: LUSFiber is making a big difference.

1 comment:

Pma said...

Congralations to everyone in Lafayette for having the foresight to drive ahead into the future with fiber. I've been working on getting the same thing done in Palo Alto for ten years and we continue to be gun shy over the possibilities. Looks like LUS is going to serve as a shining model for the rest of us for years to come.