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.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Oscar de la Renta dies; Pistorius sentenced; World Series begins and more national and international news for Tuesday, October 21, 2014.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.
Lawmakers have sidestepped a decision on whether they accept claims from Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration that the state closed last year's books with a nearly $179 million surplus.
Coming off the high of a fourth quarter comeback against Tampa Bay and a helpful bye week, linebacker Junior Galette sees a real turnaround coming for New Orleans' struggling defense.
Former President Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party's most popular surrogate this fall, is heading to Louisiana early next week for a campaign rally with U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Time and again you hear people say DA Mike Harson is unbeatable because he's doled out political favors over the past 20 years. But a new lawsuit could end that speculation.
After the season's signature win (so far), here are some helpful tips for Cajun Nation during the conference stretch.
Did the state close last year's books with a surplus or a deficit?
Practicing without limitations on Wednesday, running back Mark Ingram looked ready to return to a New Orleans offense that once again ranks among the NFL's best when the Saints play at Detroit on Sunday.
It’s been decided: Superintendents of Louisiana’s public school system will retain the controversial powers granted by Act 1 of the 2012 session.
Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy has a bone to pick with the Jindal administration, which recently — surprise! — announced that the state ended the most recent budget year with a $178.5 million dollar surplus.
The messaging battle, however, isn't tied to individual campaign accounts. Third-party groups have poured millions of dollars into advertising.
With her political future in jeopardy, Sen. Mary Landrieu is turning to a natural constituent base in her re-election bid.
Terrance Broadway threw for a touchdown and rushed for 113 yards to lead Louisiana-Lafayette to a 34-10 victory over Texas State on Tuesday night.
Aligned with the party of an unpopular president, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu sought to keep her distance from the Obama administration, against claims from her chief Republican challenger Bill Cassidy that a vote to re-elect the Democratic incumbent was a vote for Barack Obama.
Seven people in Louisiana and two others in Mississippi have been arrested in connection with an international online sales scam.
Despite the hype and potential misinformation to have spread in the wake of Mark Cockerham’s recent departure from the LPSB, his candidacy for reelection is still on — now with the backing of the Chamber's Empower PAC.