Mayor Gary Fuller won’t tolerate lies about his city. In a recent Opelika City News release titled, Setting the Record Straight - Response to Yellowhammer article, Mayor Fuller corrected the numerous misleading errors in a piece written by Jordan LaPorta. The Yellowhammer article covered a Taxpayer's Protection Alliance Foundation (TPA) report, filled with errors and misrepresentation about municipal Internet networks. TPA is one of the many front groups that describe themselves as "nonpartisan think tanks" but are actually funded by industry leaders with an agenda to advance policies that limit competition.
Mayor Fuller has seen untruths written about Opelika before, but this time he felt it was time to fight the flying monkeys.
Get Your Facts Right
Mayor Fuller corrected a number of brazen untruths LaPorta tossed out in his article, including:
- OPS ONE is not taxpayer-funded - No, LaPorta, there are no tax subsidies. Additionally, there have not been any federal or state grants used for the network.
- Expenditures grossly overstated - LaPorta incorrectly attributes the cost of an electric grid modernization ($20 million) to the cost of the FTTH network ($23 million). The two are not one and the same. Do your homework.
- Number of Gig subscribers - LaPorta reports that OPS has one Gigabit subscriber, but they actually have five residential customers who take the service. The city council has recently reduced the price to $94.99 for Gigabit service in some bundles.
This Is Why Opelika Is A Success
OPS ONE is generating annual gross revenues of around $5.5M after three years serving the community. There are more than 3,200 subscribers and testimonials of customers who appreciate obtaining service from a hometown Internet access provider. Even though OPS ONE is still young, states Mayor Fuller, it’s on track:
Mr. LaPorta does correctly quote me as stating Opelika’s network “has not...