In his letter to the editor ("Take it to the Bank," Feb. 23), Ryan Patin utilizes a tremendously oversimplified and flawed analysis in an attempt to disprove the compelling economics of the fiber-to-the-home plan. The last time we saw almost identical, and erroneous, mathematical logic was in a correspondence sent by a BellSouth executive.
One of the major inaccuracies in Mr. Patin's letter is that the project would be $125 million, but only serve 14,893 homes. Wrong! The project will cost about $50 million to run lines along each street and will cost $110.5 million if the system is actually providing services to over 24,000 residential customers and some 2,000 business customers.
Another inaccuracy is that LUS will charge $60 for a "triple play" of cable TV, telephone and Internet services. The only price LUS has used to illustrate its prices is an $85 triple play. While we expect a number of customers may purchase this option, we also expect many customers to choose enhanced (but still competitively-priced) options, so that the average bill per residential customer may be well above $85 per residential customer. Business customers will also be able to take advantage of advanced services that will generate greater revenue than the typical residential customer. In all cases, LUS telecommunications customers will be able to experience an approximate 20 percent reduction in their cable TV, telephone and Internet service bills.
The funds used for this project will be revenue bonds (not funds through a local bank), so Mr. Patin's predictions of local favoritism will not take place. The international financial institutions involved in these transactions are very thorough in their examination of such a project's feasibility study and will not lend LUS money unless they strongly feel the bonds can be paid.
Also, Mr. Patin's assertion of a higher utility bill due to this project is a blatant inaccuracy. Based on the financing structure contemplated, utility bills will not increase because of this project. In fact, it is very possible that utility bills would decrease due to this successfully deployed project.
It is unfortunate that misinformation such as that provided by Mr. Patin continues to be released by opponents to the LUS FTTH Project. We would do an injustice to our citizens in Lafayette if we did not respond to these inaccuracies.