Thursday, March 01, 2012

NBC's "Rock Center" to do show on LUS Fiber (Updated)

Though its not been widely announced—Nicholas Persac of the Advertiser mentioned it in a twitter post—apparently NBC weekly newsmagazine "Rock Center with Brian Williams" is in town filming a segment to be shown on next Wednesday night's show. According to Persac who was tweeting from Tuesday's council meeting:
Durel says Brian Williams and NBC's "The Rock" are in Lafayette all week filming for a story to air Wednesday next week a/b LUS Fiber...Durel on NBC story: "The interesting thing is it's not as much about what the fiber is but what a community can do."
That's suggestive but not what I'd call really informative. As far as I know there's been no larger announcement. Unhappily, the UStream video of the council meeting online omits the first part of this meeting where Durel made the announcement...

I do know that the NBC team was out interviewing Kit Becnel of the Carencro Academy of Information Technology this morning.

Anybody know anything more? Let us know in the comments.

Update 3/1/12: The Advertiser's Persac (whose tweet is cited above) runs a story today on the upcoming Rock Center segment. Persac's take emphasizes the recent spate of good publicity for the utility and Lafayette quoting Durel as saying:
"This kind of publicity has brought credibility and respect to Lafayette from all over the country," Durel said. "You can't pay for that kind of publicity. For a town our size in south Louisiana to be talked about for something other than just food, festivals and crawfish - which are all good things - is really great."
The tale behind the camera crew's visit is a study in how this sort of "earned" publicity occurs. The shows producer, Tom Bettag, first heard about Lafayette's project from friends and family members of his wife who is a ULL (nee USL) graduate. But that's not the full story: the show found Lafayette to be a pretty unique community:

"I've always known this to be a very special community," Bettag said. "Every community is trying to save jobs and find employment for their kids, and the country is trying to make these broadband decisions to stay competitive." 
Bettag said another facet of the LUS Fiber saga he finds particularly noteworthy is the community's willingness to tackle such a progressive endeavor despite strong conservative roots.

Of course, I've always said that any community that boasted the number of drive-thru daiquiris shacks that Lafayette does and hosts the free Cajun and Fest Internationale festivals has a different idea about the meaning of the term "conservative" than the rest of our country.

The show is supposed to run, at the earliest, on March 15th. If you want to record to record the series and you are on LUS Fiber  :-)  you can do so right from this page. There's both a computer and a smartphone oriented interface. Enter your credentials, search Rock Center (selecting "program title," set up the series recording and the new series recording will pop up on your home DVR instantly. (I grabbed the HD version.) Nifty.

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