Qwest Says Muni Broadband Could Kill
from the seems-a-bit-extreme dept
So what is Qwest left with? They didn't get MCI, they have no real wireless plans (other than a weak MVNO offering) and they have no real next generation broadband plans at all. Apparently, they've decided that their strategy will be to follow the lead of the other RBOCs and fight muni broadband rather than improve service themselves. And, if they're going to do so, what better project to pick than the poster child for muni-fiber: UTOPIA -- a project that Qwest has been fighting ever since it was conceived. The idea, of course, was to give fiber access to homes throughout Utah, though Qwest lobbying forced the plans to be scaled back significantly. Some Utah cities are still moving forward with it, and now Qwest is suing them, coming up with a ton of claims against the project. They trot out the obvious choices about "unfair competition" from the government, but then also go for the more publicity seeking claims that muni broadband puts the public at danger by violating safety standards while making use of Qwest telephone poles. It's a serious charge, if true, but some of Qwest's motives in this may be questioned. Either way, doesn't it seem that, maybe, if Qwest had spent a little more effort actually preparing their own next generation network plans instead of paying lobbyists and lawyers, they wouldn't have to worry about this at all? If the public safety issues are accurate, that's a serious matter that needs to be dealt with immediately. However, trusting Qwest to portray the information accurately seems like a stretch.