It is no secret that broadband service providers have traditionally talked out of both sides of their mouths, using terms like blazing fast or ultra-quick while selling services that delivered data via copper wires.  The future is fiber, and fiber is already being piped to residences and businesses all over the country.  So, why is it then that LUSFIBER is beset on all sides by what appears to be political shenanigans that one could only assume are being perpetrated by big metal.  Before covering those problems, it is worth taking a look at LUSFIBER and what they have to offer.

Introducing the Apparent Victim, LUSFIBER

LUSFIBER providers Lafayette with advanced FTTH (Fiber To The Home) services as well as digital telephone and digital cable options.  All of LUSFIBER ‘s advanced fiber optic offerings are symmetrical, and one can buy a staggering 50 Mbps of fiber-fueled performance for only %57.95 a month.  Prices like this are ridiculously low when compared side by side with DSL or cable modem services that come in flavors starting at around half as much for around 1/50th the performance and topping out at far higher costs for nearly 60% of the performance.  Of course, these performance metrics only look at downstream speed, and the situation would look very different if one were to measure performance based on upstream performance; in fact, the situation would favor LUSFIBER several fold more when evaluating performance based on upstream performance.

While the broadband performance is great in and of itself, it is far from all that LUSFIBER has to offer.  Advanced digital cable with over 250 channels available before even getting into premium blocks, on-demand or pay per view content, and HD/DVR features are all top-notch.   Add to this full-fledged VoIP offerings that are very competitive with local telecoms…perhaps too competitive.

Fiber Proves Its Worth

The problem is that LUSFIBER’s FTTH offerings might be too competitive, because it appears that the local telecoms and cable organizations have been doing anything they can to stop or slow FTTH deployment.  Before outlining these actions, remember that the entire state bore the brunt of Mother Nature’s fury  barely half a decade ago, and thus an interesting situation exists whereby virtually every broadband provider was being forced to make significant infrastructure investments.  These unique conditions may have caused the local competition to be even more fierce than usual, and to take measures that they normally would not take.

What kind of measures did local telecoms and cable companies take?  Well, it is difficult to directly attribute their actions due to backroom political wrangling and lobbying, but some of the more transparent moments came in the form of lawsuits, bad PR in the papers, and general mudslinging.  Things heated up when the city itself decided to take over the fiber optic build-out.  That move sparked open lawsuits, challenges that were heard up to the supreme court of Louisiana, and more.

Why?  Because the bottom line is that Big Metal is starting to realize that their investments in infrastructure were not as forward thinking as they initially believed.  This is doubly so in a market that required significant reinvestment following a chain of natural disasters that left many wondering about the future of the region.

The Argument

The argument essentially boils down to a number of failures.  It is possible to point fingers at BellSouth, COX, and even Time Warner for not being flexible and considering fiber optics at the time.  Verizon was already deploying the initial stages of their Fios network, so it would be disingenuous for any of these companies to assert that nobody had made a successful case for a FTTH deployment.  The federal government certainly dropped the ball in any number of ways following (and before) the chain of disasters devastated the region, and broadband was probably low on the priority of agencies who were having a hard time keeping people safe.

That being said, there seems to be little excuse for the constant harassment and legal hurdles thrown in front of fiber optic deployments in a region that is sorely in need of any advantage it can get.  The question that should be asked is not one of what can be done to stop Big Metal from constantly standing in the way of progress.  Law suits, challenges, calls for referendums slow progress and ultimately result in delayed FTTH services at higher price points.  So, why do we not see anyone calling on the government to protect businesses and citizens from the likes of Big Metal?

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