One specious idea they kept repeating is that government shouldn't compete against private industry. We need modern high-speed communications here in the Tri-Cities, but we represent too small a market for SBC or Comcast to invest the money needed to provide it. All three towns straddle the Fox River, and all three started their own electric utilities in the 19th century. Many people feel that if that hadn't been done, we wouldn't have had electricity here until about 1950.
As part of those electric utility operations, all three towns installed fiber optic municipal networks connecting all municipal facilities, including electric substations. The municipal employees who installed, operate and maintain the systems belong to the same union as those of SBC and Comcast. In recent years, the networks were expanded to connect with all the schools, so the networks already exist in every neighborhood of all three towns.
But, to hear SBC and Comcast tell it, a municipal fiber optic network ' to provide up-to-date phone, TV and Internet service to residents and businesses here ' would be a very risky proposition. They painted a picture of the enterprise failing, leaving no assets to liquidate, so that the taxpayers would have to foot the bill, rather than the subscribers. They claimed no other such municipal fiber optic enterprise has been successful. (It so happens that I have four relatives living in other parts of the country served by such municipal fiber optic networks, so I know better.)
They made those allegations in an expensive campaign that flooded the area in the days just before the election. Fiber For Our Future spent about $3,000, while SBC and Comcast admit to having spent more than $300,000, which may or may not include time spent by employees. Trying to tell the truth was like whistling in a windstorm. Nevertheless, broadband for the Tri-Cities received 47 percent of the vote, so a good share of the population realizes the need.
Being forewarned is forearmed. We wish Lafayette all the best. We will be watching to see if you can figure out how to thwart the incumbents' tactics.
Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
The Saints are being cautious in an effort to minimize risk of re-injury.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Marijuana source of disputes for HOAs; experts say still safe to fly; Russian-supported attacks on Ukraine and more national and international news for Friday, July 25, 2014.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.
The latest meeting of a south Louisiana flood board that stirred political turmoil with a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry is taking place amid uncertainty over the future of the lawsuit — and the board's own membership.
The photos taken nearly a mile under the Gulf of Mexico are so clear that small holes are visible in a lifeboat that may have gone down or been scuttled when a passenger ship was sunk by a Nazi submarine in 1942.
Advocate columnist and Jindal shill Quin Hillyer has been against the New Orleans levee board lawsuit from day one, but a recent piece targeting author/activist John Barry prompted the perfect rebuttal from the board’s former vice-president, who takes Hillyer to task on just about every distorted claim he’s made on the issue.
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
"I feel like I'm under siege," an attorney said recently over drinks at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. "We all do. Every time I turn around somebody wants a check. District attorney races. The judges. They're killing us."
As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.
Unlike those swindled by Bernie Madoff, the victims of Texas businessman Robert Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme won’t be getting any relief from the Securities Investor Protection Corp.’s emergency fund after a recent appellate court ruling.
The legal challenge is part of a continuing struggle over Common Core, which has become controversial since the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the standards in 2010.
The lone Democrat to announce he's running for governor, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, criticized Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's budgeting tactics as "running the state like a big Ponzi scheme."