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.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Authorities are investigating a report that a student there warned the principal of impending violence similar to that depicted in the movie "The Purge."
Saints cornerback Champ Bailey has played for more than a handful of playoff teams during a career that has seen him selected to 12 Pro Bowls.
Police say a 56-year-old Lafayette man walking behind a dump truck died when the truck hit him as it was backing up.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Fifa under fire for fake turf plans; freed journalist back home; corporate conversions rising and more national and international news for Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a proud papa of new baby girl.
The books on Louisiana's last budget year have been closed, but it took a bit of borrowing from this year to make the numbers work.
The Iberia Parish Coroner responded Monday to the attention surrounding the questionable shooting of Victor White III, a black man from New Iberia who died April 2 while in the custody of local law enforcement.
Two months after lawmakers agreed to create a $40 million higher education incentive fund, no decisions have been made about how to divide the money.
With Drew Brees back healthy, the New Orleans Saints are free to work on the little things that can make the difference between a Super Bowl run and something less.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and her lead GOP challenger Congressman Bill Cassidy are running close when it comes to money. Landrieu has $5.5 million to Cassidy’s $5.6 million in the bank.
With expectations mounting that Gov. Bobby Jindal will soon announce his campaign for president, attention is turning to not only who he will bring along with him but also what will transpire politically back home during the transition.
Seven of the 11 U.S. cities in a new ranking of “most dangerous diets” are in the Bayou and Lone Star states, but the ranking is more about poverty than fried oysters.
Lafayette police are investigating a fatal shooting involving an alleged burglar and homeowner.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham got the message from the NFL. He's not dunking footballs over goal posts any more.
With qualifying over, the start of campaign season is official, and for the Lafayette Parish School Board, the race toward Nov. 4 will pit 20 candidates in battles for all 9 of the district’s available seats.
An abortion rights organization has filed the first court challenge to a Louisiana law that would require doctors who perform abortions to be able to admit patients to a nearby hospital.
U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister started his sign-up for re-election Friday the same as any other candidate, filling out paperwork and handing over cash to pay his qualifying fee. But he finished it quite differently, doused with ice.
The recent release of Victor White III’s autopsy report could spell trouble, as it tells a much different story of his death than the one told five months ago by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“Candidates for Congress and members of Congress spend between 30 and 70 percent of their time raising money to get back to Congress or to get their party back into power.”
Over the last four days of the trial against attorney Daniel Stanford, there’s been one notable absence from Judge Elizabeth Foote’s courtroom: attorney Bill Goode.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Nick Toon are not on the same page yet, and time is running short for Toon to get it right.