Say That Again

by Mike Masnick




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.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    The Other Mike, 6 Jan 2006 @ 1:00pm

    No Subject Given

    I agree that the money being spent on this could be put to better use but from the TelCo's perspective this is money well spent. If they can get enough of these kinds of plans killed through some legal wrangling then they have set case law precedent for any future legal debate about it - essentially killing similar projects before they start.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      A Funny Guy, 6 Jan 2006 @ 2:10pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      I think it is utterly insane and completely typical of this screwed up idea of a government that a company like bellsouth can tell a local government when they can and cannot issue bonds to pay for something that the people who live in that area voted to allow to happen.
      This is just a further showing that our votes really don't count for shit when Da Man wants it his way.
      WAKE UP PEOPLE and let Da Man know he can't rule your life. I encourage the local government involved to go right ahead and issue those bonds and show our justice system that we the people make our rules.... Not justice departments who can be bought by the deep pockets of big business.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        A Funny Guy, 6 Jan 2006 @ 2:21pm

        Re: No Subject Given

        As a side note i encourage all people who read this and who are outraged that a company can curcumvent a legitimate voting process, call, write, and pester bellsouth to no end until they understand we live in a democratic country..... Not a United States of Telco with Sadam BellSouth as the dictator.
        Please discontinue your business with bellsouth until they abide by fair business practices.
        I know I will be doing such

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Nick Crutchfield, 6 Jan 2006 @ 3:19pm

          Scared

          I would be very anxious about my internet being controlled by a munincipality, it means they would most likely monitor it, and leagal issues would arise. This takes away from the whole idea of the internet, complete freedom.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Dan Herman, 6 Jan 2006 @ 3:51pm

            Re: Scared

            Why the hell would they monitor usage?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            David, 6 Jan 2006 @ 3:55pm

            Re: Scared

            Ridiculously paranoid. On the other hand you wouldn't work for a certain Telco would you?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              KG, 6 Jan 2006 @ 4:44pm

              Re: Scared

              I'm not so sure it's ridiculously paranoid.

              Think about it a bit... Almost immediately someone will say "These internet connections are being used to look at pornography, the local government shouldn't be using tax dollars to support pornography" ... then the same thing will happen regarding file sharing, then controversial blogs... Soon policies will be in place to filter and blacklist items... And it will go downhill from there.

              This doesn't happen much with the commercial options because those companies are focusing on making a profit, and are completely uninterested with any moral issues, any blocking or filtering the commercial ISP's do is based around reducing bandwidth-hogging in an effort to further save money, which doesn't bother me too much.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Broadband Tech Support Rep, 6 Jan 2006 @ 5:11pm

                ID10Ts

                BellSouth IS the DEVIL!

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • 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.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  John Doh, 8 Jan 2006 @ 3:02pm

                  Re: Scared

                  I don't know how Lafayette is doing it, but I know in many parts of the Western U.S. where this has already been done (e.g. Provo, Utah), the city simply provides the infrastructure for the high speed internet. Commercial isp's, cable companies, and telcos rent the use of the infrastructure to provide the content (digital cable, internet, telephone, etc.) to their customers. For this reason, the city can simply wash their hands of whatever the content is and let the commercial companies deal with that. At the same time, the city collects the revenues for the use of their infrastructure and maintains that infrastructure.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Ed Marquis, 3 Feb 2006 @ 11:00am

          Re: No Subject Given

          I'm dumping Bellsouth phone and internet just as soon as the cable guy comes next week to hook me up. My DSL "ultra" which is supposed to be 1.5m/256k Averages about 768k/128k on speed tests and I'm fed up with it. BS is probably throttling their own users connections.

          See ya BS!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      CW, 7 Jan 2006 @ 4:20am

      Re: No Subject Given

      the stupid thing with the world atm is that companies get so obsessive about "if that happens we will lose money" that in alot of cases they probally lose more money in fighting it rather then doing what people and the human race has done for years Evolve,

      as a race we are starting to go backwards, getting obessive about money and failing to progress at the rate we could be

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matt, 8 Jan 2006 @ 9:35pm

    No Subject Given

    Part of the problem; elected officials aren't representing the constituents. They allow for corporate money to dictate their legislation. There really needs to be more public outrage over situations like this!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.