Even after months of city-parish council meetings, press conferences, public rallies and non-stop media coverage of the project throughout Acadiana, there still seems to be a significant amount of apathy in the community about the LUS project. The technology associated with LUS' proposal is complex and high-tech, and it's understandable that buzzwords like "fiber-to-the-home," "megahertz" and "gigabyte" aren't standard dinner-table conversation. Voter turnout in this Saturday's election is expected to be extremely low, and your vote is crucial.
Opponents of the plan consistently return to the same message: government should not compete with private businesses. We agree with that general philosophy, but this is a case where the incumbent telecom providers are not providing the kind of services and progressive thinking required for today's fast-changing digital society. LUS and Lafayette Consolidated Government repeatedly asked BellSouth and Cox Communications to provide and administer the technological benefits available to Lafayette through the city's existing fiber loop, and the companies refused. LCG and LUS' business plan promises lower or competitive prices for phone, cable and Internet services; it's that simple.
That's just one component of the plan. City-Parish President Joey Durel and LUS Director Terry Huval recognize that this fiber initiative can be a giant economic development tool for Lafayette and make our city ' and eventually the surrounding parishes ' a leader in embracing technology's benefits. If the fiber plan becomes reality, the possibilities are endless: students in our university and public education system will have an incredibly powerful resource for research at their fingertips. The health care community can use the program for everything from fast retrieval of electronic medical records to telemedicine. And out-of-state technology companies ranging from software and computer giants to video game developers have all expressed interest in doing business in Lafayette.
It's important to dispel one oft-repeated misconception about the plan. There will be NO NEW TAXES associated with the project. The vote this Saturday is to allow LUS to borrow bonds to fund the project ' a routine government procedure. Yes, there are still unanswered questions on the bond interest rates, and there is a remote possibility that utility rates could be raised slightly in a worst-case scenario if LUS' business plan doesn't meet expectations. Still, LUS has repeatedly stated that the plan will be implemented incrementally, allowing LUS to adjust its plan or abandon it entirely if necessary. With that reassurance, we believe the proposal's risk is miniscule.
Don't just take our word for it. The overwhelming community support and endorsements of the plan speak volumes. A partial list of organizations officially endorsing fiber-to-the-home include the Realtors Association of Acadiana, the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, Lafayette Economic Development Authority, Rebuild Lafayette North Committee, Downtown Development Authority, The Daily Advertiser and Downtown Lafayette Unlimited. Even the Lafayette Parish Democratic Party and the Lafayette Parish Republican Party jointly endorsed the project. In today's politically polarized climate, when's the last time Democrats and Republicans agreed on anything?
Vote Yes on July 16 and send the message that we're ready to take a visionary step for Lafayette's future.
The Lafayette superintendent insists the budget is illegal and vows to fight on.
"I am not a scientist," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has said numerous times, a response that other members of his party have parroted.
Republicans are running strong races against endangered Democratic incumbents in states such as North Carolina, Colorado, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska. Republicans are also looking to replace retiring Democrats in Iowa and West Virginia with a GOP lawmaker.
Republican congressman Vance McAllister is trying to make up to Louisiana voters for getting too close to a married former employee.
You may not like all of “it,” but U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, unlike many of her colleagues, isn't sitting around twiddling her thumbs in Congress.
Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro says he "can't wait" to play against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The heat keeps rising for Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal as a new slate of corruption allegations surfaced this week.
If opposing defenses sell out to stop the Packers' passing game, they risk being gashed by powerful running back Eddie Lacy, a New Orleans-area native.
At the horn the officiating crew trotted to the tunnel and left security personnel to clean up after them.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Sign "ninjas" cleaning up clutter; NYC doctor positive for Ebola; Ferguson grand jury decision nears; and more national and international news for Friday, October 24, 2014.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.