For The Amount Spent Fighting City, Couldn't BellSouth Just Offer Broadband

from the just-saying... dept

There they go again. The folks at BellSouth have put so much effort into stopping Lafayette, Louisiana from offering muni-broadband, you have to wonder how much more they could be offering now if they'd just focused on offering a better product. Despite plenty of really nasty campaigning (threatening to pull jobs out of the state and using push polls among other tactics), Lafayette voters still voted to move forward with the muni-fiber network recognizing that it could help boost the economy, bringing in new businesses while offering a real alternative to a slow-to-innovate BellSouth. Even after this, BellSouth has been trying to stop the project from moving forward and has won a legal battle preventing Lafayette from issuing bonds to pay for the network. The rejection seems to mostly be based on a technicality concerning how Lafayette would repay the bonds (using revenue from other muni-utilities). Still, it's amusing to see BellSouth complain about government subsidies, when they tend to ignore the government subsidies that help BellSouth. Either way, the really sad part is all the money being wasted (on both sides) to fight this that could be used to actually offer people real broadband connections.

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  1. identicon
    eskayp, 7 Jan 2006 @ 10:23am

    Re: Scared

    I can see Muni-ISP's in the bible belt trying to dictate what their subscribers can access,
    but then again the NET is only one additional channel for them to attempt to throttle.
    I doubt Munis in other regions would censor much, so long as the content met legal constraints.
    Will religious content be allowed, since the government will be funding the whole thing?
    There WILL be lawsuits as a variety of advocacy groups attemt to control what is allowed or forbidden on any given system.
    Personally I believe a non-profit co-op or foundation would be a better approach to give consumers what they want, at a reasonable cost.
    Users would also have much better control and a better chance that their concerns would be taken seriously.
    But then again, who is to say that some whacko group of wingnuts won't be running and ruining the show?
    As usual, the devil is too often in the details.

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