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.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Either Saints coach Sean Payton doesn't want to tip Baltimore off as to who'll start in New Orleans' secondary on Monday night, or he really doesn't know yet.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Ten departing CEOs rake in $430 million; profile of FSU gunman emerges; Buffalo's weather woes and more national and international news for Friday, November 21, 2014.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.
The money came through a general obligation bond sale Thursday.
A legend in the Acadiana Oil Patch, Comeaux died Monday, Nov. 17.
With a growing number of alleged sexual assault victims coming out against Bill Cosby in recent weeks, upcoming projects have been canned by NBC and Netflix, but that won’t affect the once-loved comedian and actor’s scheduled performance in Lafayette.
The Baltimore Ravens' retooled secondary had no trouble against a rookie quarterback at home. This week, however, their task is far more challenging: stopping Drew Brees on the road in New Orleans.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry's name to the list of possible Republican presidential candidates flooding the campaign trail for GOP Senate candidate Bill Cassidy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Florida this week with his fellow Republican governors for another gripe session aimed at their favorite target, the president, this time taking aim at his immigration plans.
Early voting for the runoff is shortened by two days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Coach Don” Gagnard is running for school board. Today he offers his critique of the socioeconomic relationship between government subsidies and obesity.
Former Le Rosier chef who cooked at the James Beard House and was named one of the “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine magazine in 1995 was 48.
Pat Cooper is contesting his termination by the LPSB, filing a petition Tuesday that calls the recent decision “arbitrary and capricious.”
A look at the numbers highlights the challenge facing Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu as she tries to win a fourth term in a Dec. 6 runoff against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising the new Republican majority will quickly resurrect Keystone XL pipeline legislation killed by Democrats, potentially setting up an early 2015 veto confrontation with President Barack Obama.
A national animal rights group has been rebuffed by a Baton Rouge district court judge, although the group might still get its day in court.
The administration says public college campuses won't be on the chopping block.
The legendary musician is performing at a $1,000-per-person fundraiser Dec. 1 in New Orleans.
Old savings and checking accounts, payroll checks, stocks and dividends, insurance proceeds, oil and gas royalty payments and other unclaimed money is sent to the state when a business cannot locate someone.