Is Lafayette’s LUSFiber Doomed To Fail? – Lafayette Live
In 2008 Lafayette Consolidated Government began construction on infrastructure that would bring state-of-the-art high speed internet to the city. The LUSFiber program promised to improve quality of life, attract business, and ensure the future of the city of Lafayette. Over five years later, Lafayette is beginning to reep the benefits of the major technological investment, but not all cities that have chosen to implement city-funded fiber have been able to successfully operate as a public internet service provider.
Global communication giant Google has announced the acquisition of Provo, Utah's iProvo fiberoptic network. Google will reportedly pay $1 for the fiberoptic network with the promise to invest heavily in upgrades. Provo, Utah will be Google's third Google Fiber city after already investing in Kansas City, Missouri and Austin, Texas. Google Fiber is a high speed internet service provider.
News of Google's acquisition has Lafayette citizens wondering whether the same fate will fall upon Lafayette's LUS Fiber initiative. Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel stopped by “Mornings with Ken and Bernie” for his weekly “Lafayette Live” segment to discuss Provo, Utah's failed attempt at running a fiber network, and why Provo's mistakes won't happen in Lafayette.
City-Parish President Joey Durel says he's quite familiar with the details behind the demise of the Provo, Utah iFiber initiative. Durel cited private business influencing the public program as the main reason for iProvo's failure and consequential sale to Google.
They're one of those states where the large income providers were able to manipulate the politicians in a way that tied their hands. - Joey Durel
Unlike Lafayette's LUSFiber system, Provo's fiber did not operate under control of the city. The city provided the money and resources to install the fiber infrastructure in the city, but were not allowed to influence business decisions.
The mayor of Provo, Utah told us a long time ago that they could have done it so much better if they could have done it the way we did it. They could only build the infrastructure and allow others to run it. - Joey Durel
Despite the ill-fated path of Provo, Utah, Durel is confident that LUSFiber will continue to succeed and benefit the city for years to come.
To listen to City-Parish President Joey Durel's full interview, click the play button below.