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.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Ten departing CEOs rake in $430 million; profile of FSU gunman emerges; Buffalo's weather woes and more national and international news for Friday, November 21, 2014.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.
The money came through a general obligation bond sale Thursday.
A legend in the Acadiana Oil Patch, Comeaux died Monday, Nov. 17.
With a growing number of alleged sexual assault victims coming out against Bill Cosby in recent weeks, upcoming projects have been canned by NBC and Netflix, but that won’t affect the once-loved comedian and actor’s scheduled performance in Lafayette.
The Baltimore Ravens' retooled secondary had no trouble against a rookie quarterback at home. This week, however, their task is far more challenging: stopping Drew Brees on the road in New Orleans.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry's name to the list of possible Republican presidential candidates flooding the campaign trail for GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Florida this week with his fellow Republican governors for another gripe session aimed at their favorite target, the president, this time taking aim at his immigration plans.
Early voting for the runoff is shortened by two days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Coach Don” Gagnard is running for school board. Today he offers his critique of the socioeconomic relationship between government subsidies and obesity.
Former Le Rosier chef who cooked at the James Beard House and was named one of the “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine magazine in 1995 was 48.
Pat Cooper is contesting his termination by the LPSB, filing a petition Tuesday that calls the recent decision “arbitrary and capricious.”
A look at the numbers highlights the challenge facing Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu as she tries to win a fourth term in a Dec. 6 runoff against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising the new Republican majority will quickly resurrect Keystone XL pipeline legislation killed by Democrats, potentially setting up an early 2015 veto confrontation with President Barack Obama.
A national animal rights group has been rebuffed by a Baton Rouge district court judge, although the group might still get its day in court.
The administration says public college campuses won't be on the chopping block.
The legendary musician is performing at a $1,000-per-person fundraiser Dec. 1 in New Orleans.
Old savings and checking accounts, payroll checks, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, oil and gas royalty payments and other unclaimed money is sent to the state when a business cannot locate someone.