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 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
New standards curb elective induction
CVS stops tobacco sales
If an Acadia Parish fiddler misses a note while swatting a fly, will a St. Martinville accordionist learn “Ma ‘Tite Fille”?
(It's good, it's bad and it's just crazy)