Saturday, November 14, 2009

Curtis, Cox, and LUS

Today's "Curtis" syndicated comic, found in this morning's Advertiser could easily have been inspired by the marketing tactics we're seeing Lafayette... (The story line involves young Curtis hoping to con his dad into a special cable "deal.")

A friend tells me he was recently offered 3 months of free cable service when he called to cancel his Cox service and move to LUS. That, apparently, is just how desperate Cox is beginning to get as LUS continues to roll out its service—ahead of schedule. The incumbents have repeatedly insisted that "goverment-owned" LUS would never be able to meet its ambitious roll-out goals but that particular canard hasn't been repeated recently as it became obvious that the service would not only achieve its goal but that our community-owned utility is actually ahead of schedule (LUS recently announced that it would finish its roll-out in July, about six months early.)

Incidentally, LUS' is a great service and my friend (IMHO) was right to spurn the short range savings for the long-term savings, no-nonsense, no "deals" package the hometown alternative offers. Not to mention: our money stays here and it builds infrastructure we own.

5 comments:

gg said...

Any idea when LUS will get into apartment complexes that are already in their rollout area and surrounded by homes getting access?

John said...

gg: I think they are, generally, accepting tenants now. There is a form that tenants are to use to get their landlords approval online at: http://www.fiberforthefuture.com/pdf/LUS%20Fiber%20Landlord%20Permission%20Form.pdf

That said, there are two levels of difficulty in supplying apartment complexes:
1) purely technical—generally complexes tend to be "special cases" in that each one has to be evaluated differently as to what sort of distribution node will work best (for example, our street nodes for residences serve 32 addresses; many complexes are much larger). Getting wiring into multiple story buildings is also a task.
2) getting landlord permission. Nationwide it isn't uncommon for the incumbents to pay the landlord of large developments or apt complexes what amounts to a kickback. Don't know if that is happening here but you should inquire.

It is easier to move both 1 & 2 out of the way if you can get a good number of your fellow tenants to endorse your request-that will motivate both LUS and the landlord.

Good luck...and I'll be interested in how this story plays out.

(PS: anyone know of a complex that has already gotten service?)

John

gg said...

Thanks for the link to the form, I'll pass it on to my landlord.

This is at University Place Apartments on Oakcrest Drive. Management just put up a COX sign in front of the office 2-3 weeks ago. Management responds to all questions about LUS with "We'll talk to the landlord about it later." I've never seen the landlord.

This is LUS' e-mail response from September. They haven't responded with updates in October or November, probably because it hasn't changed:

"As regards apartment complexes, LUS Fiber apologizes for any inconvenience associated with our inability to service apartments at the present time. There are a number of specific engineering issues that need to be resolved before services can be ordered. Our engineering staff are working on a resolution to this issue and we plan to begin servicing apartments in the future."

So if they're accepting tenants, that's progress.

John said...

Thanks gg for the info...it's interesting that LUS wasn't serving complexes as recently as September. It is also interesting that your complex has put up a cox sign since then.

LUS needs to get going on this. Complexes are a huge percent of the city residences and a market they can't afford to let Cox move in on with "exclusives."

Luckily Cox (and LUS) are no longer allowed to set up exclusive contracts--the FCC has ruled that such are anticompetitive and forbids them.

That doesn't mean that a company like Cox won't try and find a way to evade that...if your management won't respond you might consider going directly to the landlord with the complaint that something fishy might be going on. ...'Cause it might.

Best of luck. You'll love the service once you get it.

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