Apparently, staring down big scaries like AT&T or Cox makes you brave.
Tuesday afternoon, LUS Director Terry Huval and Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel did an "ask me anything" session about LUS Fiber on Reddit to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the voters' approval of a bond issue to build the system.
If you don't know what a Reddit "ask me anything" session means, it's like accepting anonymous phone calls live on a radio station, when that radio station caters to trolls.
The hour-long session went pretty well for Huval and Durel, with only a couple of those trolls showing up.
One, "stonecrapsteveaustin," had only been a Redditer for a couple of hours when he started asking why telecommunications costs had risen in the past seven years. (Oh, wait. That's stoneCRABsteveaustin. Sorry. My bad.)
Huval calmly pointed out the flaws in the comparisons steveaustin was making and moved on.
Several visitors asked when LUS would be extending services to Youngsville (soon, maybe) Broussard (get real) and other cities completely out of the realm of possibility, like Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
"We have said that we are ready to expand LUS Fiber to businesses in the surrounding cities," they answered. "The criteria required is that it has to make sense financially, we have to have a good working relationship with that city, and there will need to be an annexation agreement. The model Joey has always envisioned is similar to the model where the city of Lafayette provides water to the city of Youngsville today."
As a Redditer commented, part of that reads like Durel said it "through clenched teeth." There's a veiled reference, of course, to Broussard, land of the free water. (Broussard and Lafayette got into a spat a couple of years ago when it was discovered that an unauthorized tap was pouring millions of gallons of LUS water into Broussard, free of charge. A really big bill and a lawsuit later, Broussard is digging wells.)
The session went pretty good for such a thing, and they handled it very much as Huval handles most controversies: with quiet aplomb, lots of facts and just a little sass. They didn't engage the trolls, but they did correct misinformation.
There were queries about city-wide wifi (they're cautious) and a bunch of techie talk about giggies and wiggies and who has the biggest, and then of course there were some of the typical nonsensical Reddit stuff.
Like the guy who asked Huval who was a better engineer - Edison or Tesla. If you're talking about financial success, you have to go with Edison, Huval said. But if you are looking at pure talent, it's got to be Tesla. (Duh, anahuac-a-mole.)
Finally, not to pat ourselves (or, more accurately, Melissa Hebert) on the back too much, but there also were several comments about our cover illustration featuring Durel as Capt. Kirk and Huval as Mr. Spock. Huval said they're thinking of changing their tagline to "Live Long and Prosper," but Durel bemoaned the fact that "all this technology, and they still can't add hair."
If you'd like to read the session transcript, go here.