Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why Communities Should Decide What Telecom Networks They Have - Forbes

Friend o' Lafayette Christopher Mitchell has a piece in today's Forbes ("the capitalist tool) titled: Why Communities Should Decide What Telecom Networks They Have. The title pretty much tells the tale. Chattanooga and Lafayette get starring roles in the story Mitchell tells. One nice pull quote:
Publicly owned networks overwhelmingly help public safety, schools, libraries and other community anchor institutions. While AT&T has been caught overcharging schools for their connections, Lafayette dramatically increased the capacity of school and library broadband connections at nearly the same price AT&T charged for far lower quality services. Lafayette’s network is one of the most advanced in the nation and has attracted hundreds of new jobs while saving millions for the community by keeping prices lower, as documented in our report Broadband at the Speed of Light. In response to Lafayette’s investment, Cox Cable prioritized that community for its upgraded cable network – compounding local benefits.
Give it a read, Mitchell constructs a clean and powerful argument that state legislators ought to hear.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

US Ignite Lauds Lafayette's "STEAM" Team

US Ignite's summer newsletter leads off with a bit about Lafayette's STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) Education initiatives.
In Lafayette, the city's children will begin a journey focused not only on traditional STEM but rather STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) education with the benefit of the 3D animation and modeling tools available through the leadership of the Louisiana Immersive Technology Enterprise (LITE), the public school superintendent, Lafayette Utility Services, University of Louisiana Lafayette, and FiberCorps. Lafayette has also completed its first US Ignite brainstorming event to foster the creation of applications for a “Living Lab for Health Innovations” program. 
Nice.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Corporate Sense of Entitlement

Unbelievable.

Poor, pitiful, put-upon communications giants AT&T and Time-Warner Cable are demanding, as a some sort of new-fangled "level playing field" right, that the Kansas Cities give them the same concessions that the cities gave Google.

Without, of course, giving the cities any of the advantages that Google offered in order to secure those concessions. You know: FTTH, a GIG of bandwidth, 5 years of free low-bandwidth targeted at the digital divide, school connections, etc. So now your competitors offering a better deal to locals and in return getting a better deal from locals is unfair? Poor, pitiful, duopolists! Real companies with real competition face similar "level playing field" problems. It's called getting beat when your competitors offer a better deal. Big new concept, that.

We here in Lafayette have heard a lot of high-quality BS about "level playing fields" and here the term always means tilting the field to favor the incumbent corporations AT&T and Cox. But the latest demands of the incumbents break new ground in clearly demonstrating that their sense of entitlement is not limited to some sort of ideological objection to the so-called advantages of small municipalities that dare to compete against the international conglomerates. No, they are entitled to have all of the advantages of anyone and everyone that dares provide them with the smallest spot of competition, regardless of whether they are muni utilities or new private entrants like Google.

These guys have completely forgotten what free enterprise is all about. You know, that competition stuff.