TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: The Dirty Tricks SBC and Comcast Play to Sink Municipal Broadband

The Dirty Tricks SBC and Comcast Play to Sink Municipal Broadband

Jack Decker (jack-yahoogroups@withheld_on_request)
Wed, 25 May 2005 22:58:00 -0400

This is a long article but one that is well worth reading -- if you
have ever wondered what sort of dirty tricks companies like SBC and
Comcast are willing to play to sink municipal broadband, this is a
real eye-opener.

Tri-Cities Trials:

A municipal fiber plan in Illinois' Tri-Cities failed twice. The
region's leaders and residents offer cautionary tales as Lafayette
heads toward its July 16 fiber-to-the-home referendum. By Kristi
H. Dempsey, R. Reese Fuller, Scott Jordan and Nathan Stubbs | 5/25/2005

After first being introduced to the public more than a year ago,
Lafayette Utilities System's fiber-to-the-home initiative is headed
for a public referendum on July 16 for bond approval. Its the home
stretch for the contentious battle between Lafayette Consolidated
Government and incumbent telecom providers BellSouth and Cox
Communications, and no one knows what unexpected twists the next seven
weeks will bring. Only the dueling storylines are set in stone: LCG
wants to build its fiber network for economic development, while
BellSouth and Cox say government should not compete with private

For the Tri-Cities' area of Illinois, Lafayette's baptism-by-fire
education on fiber is old hat. Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles,
Ill. are located 45 miles outside of Chicago and have a combined
population of approximately 80,000 people; Tri-Cities government has
been trying to offer its own fiber program since 2003.

Telecom providers Comcast and SBC have vehemently opposed the
Tri-Cities' plan; the two companies mounted fierce opposition
campaigns that doomed cities' fiber network twice at the polls. A
Comcast representative declined to answer questions about Tri-Cities
from The Independent Weekly, issuing only a one-sentence statement:
"By voting down the idea of launching municipal broadband twice in
19 months, residents sent a clear message that they do not support a
municipally owned broadband utility." SBC spokesman Marty Richter
echoed that sentiment, saying, "[Voters] looked at both sides of
the issue, and didn't favor the cities plunging into this very
risky business, especially when they're already very well served by
the private sector, such as SBC."

Tri-Cities officials and residents paint a different picture. And the
image that emerges is David being crushed by Goliath or in this
case, a pair of Goliaths determined to maintain their market dominance
with a variety of tactics.

Full story at:

How to Distribute VoIP Throughout a Home:

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: You may wish to read this report; it
sort of explains what happened in a couple of small towns in Kansas
thought about starting such ventures; SBC even is quite opposed to
the concept of municipal WiFi. PAT]

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