Feb. 23, 2005 12:00
I have been watching the debate on the fiber-to-the-home issue ("Downloading Durel," Feb. 9). I hear how great it will be for the people of Lafayette to have warp-speed Internet at home.

Is this a financially feasible project? If Lafayette Utilities System borrows $125 million, with a 15-year pay back period at 3.5 percent annual interest, that means the monthly payments to pay off the bonds will be $893,603 per month. If LUS charges $60 per month for a "triple play" ' as they call it ' that means that just to cover the debt service, 14,893 homes will have to subscribe to this "triple play" just to cover the debt. This $893,603 per month does not include the cost of employees, vehicles, insurance, office rental, marketing costs, etc.

I wonder if any Lafayette area bank would loan LUS $125 million for this deal. I doubt it. Mr. [Bill] Fenstermaker, one of the big proponents of this fiber-to-the-home, is chairman of the board of IberiaBank. I wonder if his bank would loan LUS $125 million for this project. I doubt it. I would bet that the board of directors of IberiaBank would vote no on this loan request.

Mr. Durel, if this fiber-to-the-home project fails, how much will my electricity bill and water bill go up to cover the debt service on this project? The way I look at it, my electricity will go up about $60 per month or more. One more question, Mr. Durel ' If LUS were your personal business, would you risk all you have for this fiber-to-the-home deal? I doubt you would.

If we are the shareholders of LUS, then why don't you do what other companies owned by stockholders do? Let us vote!

Should Democrats dump Dixie? DEC 17 Blogger Bob Mann gives his two cents on the question being discussed among tight-pants-bushy-beard-hat-on-in-the-house northern liberals who were disgusted by Mary's defeat. In a round-about way, he's seeking to remind them that the pendulum always swings back. Must-read story about Janzen Jackson DEC 17 This post on Vice Sports is an in-depth look at the life of Janzen Jack

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