Roundup: Lafayette, Syracuse, Incumbent Bailout, and MAIN

Another roundup of semi-recent news:
  • Lafayette's groundbreaking network is exciting the folks at - they say, "The Future of the Internet is in Lafayette, Louisiana." Ellen Perlman hints are future coverage of the network as well:
    To put it in perspective, that's 10 times faster than already very fast Internet. And more than 100 times faster than the Internet "starter" plan that, for example, Verizon is offering. Basically, Lafayette will have a city Intranet, the way universities and technology companies do. So residents will have a very fast connection within the city-parish "campus." Critics wonder why residents need such speeds and why the city had to build its own network. An August story in Governing will get into detail about that.
  • Green Party Candidate for the Syracuse City Council speaks out on the need for a publicly owned fiber network in the city:
    Hundreds of US cities have municipal ownership of their broadband utilities and their customers pay 30% less on average for cable TV, internet, and phone. Time Warner’s cable franchise is up for renewal. Now is the time to municipalize our broadband utility for (1) lower fees, (2) community control of available channels (from Democracy Now to the NFL Network), (3) quality Public Access, Education, and Government (PEG) programming, (4) universal access to high-speed internet, and (5) up-to-date public access video and web-based media creation centers. Every Syracuse should have first-class, affordable access to internet, cable, and phone communications. The Syracuse economy needs first-rate affordable broadband to progress. The profits now exported to Time-Warner can stay in the community for our own benefit through municipal cable.

    Advocates for such a fiber network in Syracuse have a website loaded with resources.

  • Will wireline-based telephone companies need a bailout in coming years? This is an interesting analysis that suggests the public may end up financing these networks one way or another... The argument goes like this - as people increasingly get rid of that landline, these companies still have massive expenses they may not be able to cover.
    The Wireline TelCos are among the largest employers in the country; Verizon and AT&T alone have more than half a million employees between them, and most of those are in their Wireline divisions. Collectively, the Bells support more pensioners than even General Motors. At $60B, their unfunded postretirement obligations amountto $200 for every man, woman, and child in America. They are among the nation’s largest providers of health care coverage.
  • put up a post detailing stimulus-related expansion plans for the Mountain Area Information Network (MAIN) in North Carolina.