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 Parish School Board member Greg Awbrey deserves an attaboy for his unexpected vote during Wednesday’s meeting approving a mediation session between the board and Superintendent Pat Cooper.
The cable television network's suspension of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson from the hit reality show has drawn criticism from the governor of Robertson's home state.
The State Bond Commission gave preliminary approval to the borrowing plan Thursday without objection.
The Pediatric Clinic is housed in the same location previously closed by state budget cuts in June 2012.
Three-term Louisiana senator facing tough re-election battle is next in line for Energy Committee chairmanship.
In a letter distributed during Wednesday night's meeting, Lafayette Parish School Board member Shelton Cobb, in his final meeting as board president, called on his fellow board members to start focusing on the children and stop battling Superintendent Pat Cooper.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, December 19, 2013
Joshua Dore of Breaux Bridge was sentenced Tuesday to 1.5 years in prison for counterfeiting, according to a press release issued by U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley’s office on Wednesday.
School super Pat Cooper alleges Lafayette Parish School Board member Mark Allen Babineaux, an attorney, publicly disclosed the details of a closed-door executive session.
Sun Belt commissioner presents title and practice gets under way in preparation for Saturday
Kerry Bertrand’s charge was upgraded Tuesday by an Acadia Parish grand jury from manslaughter to second-degree murder for his alleged role in the drowning death of his stepdaughter, Skylar Credeur.
Sean Payton announced Wednesday that veteran Shayne Graham was New Orleans' new kicker, and that rookie Terron Armstead would get his first start at left tackle.
Should new parents be required by law to attend special classes before being permitted to raise their child? It’s an idea state Rep. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, is seriously considering.
The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting of the Lafayette Parish School Board tells it all: The board has lost sight of its elected purpose.
A public Mass will be held Thursday in New Orleans for artist George Rodrigue, who died Saturday of cancer at age 69.
Eight former employees of The Times-Picayune have sued the newspaper and parent Advance Publications Inc., alleging their layoffs violated a longstanding "job security pledge" and age discrimination laws.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration hasn't done an independent performance review of its $363 million privatization contract for mental health and addictive disorder treatment services.
"Whether it's the tackle position, whether it's a player on defense ... we're going to look closely at what our options are and what gives us the best chance."
Get to Cajun Field today and show your bowl-bound pride
In the end, edge to Tulane, but the 12th man could be the deciding factor.
Says ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert, “Obviously, they are not responsible enough to have the privilege of selling alcohol. This blatant disregard of the law will not be tolerated.”
Louisiana's Department of Education isn't properly monitoring the state's voucher program to make sure students are placed in private schools that demonstrate student achievement and success, according to an audit released Monday.
Five members of the Lafayette Parish School Board are facing potential fines of as much as $1,400 for excessive absences from board meetings in 2013.
Acadiana (14-1) broke the state championship record for points and rushing yards, rolling up 670 yards. Photo by Buddy Delahoussaye
The artist who chronicled Cajun life and later found fame with his enigmatic “Blue Dog” images died Saturday in Houston after a long battle with cancer.