Tuesday, April 05, 2005

municipal telecom

In February, 2004, the Progress & Freedom Foundation (http://www.pff.org/) published a report entitled, "Government Entry into the Telecom Business: Are the Benefits Commensurate with the Costs?" (http://www.pff.org/issues-pubs/pops/pop11.3govtownership.pdf). Supporters of PFF include Apple Computers, BMG Music, Disney, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Intuit, MGM, Motorola, NBC, Sony, Symantec, Time-Warner, and VIACOM.

I urge all Lafayette voters to read this report. It is a summary of case studies of several municipalities that have entered the telecommunications market, including some of the very same municipalities that the LUS fibre proponents use as examples.

In every single one of these cases, operating expenses are exceeding operating revenues and requiring yearly subsidies of as much as $1,000 per customer, and the municipalities are unable to recover their original capital investments. The results have been higher electric and water rates and higher taxes.

This is the future of Lafayette if the voters allow LUS to enter the telecommunications business. To believe otherwise can be charitably characterized as unreasonably optimistic.

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