Recently I spoke at a Technology incubator conference in Lafayette, La, and had the opportunity to chat with the director of the Lafayette Utilities System, about their desire to overbuild a fiber-to-the-home system in the Parrish. The system would compete with Cox Cable and Bellsouth, delivering television and telephony services. According to the gentleman I spoke with, there is plenty of room for LUS to undercut Cox Cable rates, which he described as producing obscene levels of profitability for Cox operations in the Parish. This may be a sign of things to come, as more and more municipalities that are in the utilitiy business look to expand revenue producing services, as a way to increase revenues in lieu of direct taxation. For example, out counties largest industrial polluter, Gainesville Regional Utilities, transfers tens of millions in revenues into the City of Gainesville treasury each year; a county utility tax on GRU services does much the same for the county coffers. GRU is now providing broadband services to businesses around the community that are within reach of the fiber-optic trunk they placed around the city a few years ago. Regards Craig La. Utility Mulls Muni System (excerpted from the 6/21/04 edition of <http://email.multichannel.com/cgi-bin2/DM/y/hhXr0JToAc0K430Bl430AL>Multichannel News) A statistical battle is being waged between incumbent cable providers and the Lafayette (La.) Utilities System, a municipal utility that is building its case for extending its business into broadband and video-delivery with the local parish council. The utility currently provides electricity, water and sewage services to the 190,000-population parish, but would now like to install a fiber-to-the-home plant to deliver cable services. The project's backers believe the can utility provide these products, plus telephony, to its present 55,000 residential and 6,000 business customers for less than its would-be commercial rivals, including Cox Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. LUS has spent three years studying other municipal overbuild models, and recently presented a feasibility study to the parish council, including the results of a poll conducted on its behalf by a Kansas marketing firm. The company took a separate poll of business and residential customers, asking if they would be likely to patronize a municipally-run telecommunications provider. According to the report, 78% of households said they'd buy at least expanded basic cable from a municipal overbuilder, while 74% said they'd purchase phone service. According to local press accounts, the parish council was mixed in its response to the proposal presented June 8. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.