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Publicly Owned LUS Fiber Launching Gigabit Broadband for Lafayette, Louisiana

Your Internet Service Provider keeps telling you there is no need for faster broadband speeds, but no matter how many times they say it, you still don’t believe them.

Neither do the folks at LUS Fiber — Lafayette, Louisiana’s publicly-owned fiber to the home broadband network.

In a state dominated by AT&T and cable companies like Cox, Louisiana has never experienced super-fast broadband.  But now they will.  LUS Fiber today announced 1Gbps broadband is now available in the Hub City.

Businesses will now have access to affordable broadband at speeds 20,000 times faster than dial-up.  Residential customers used to getting 1-12Mbps from phone company DSL or up to 50Mbps from Cox can put the slow lane behind them forever.  LUS Fiber can deliver upload and download speeds as fast as 1,000Mbps.

“Gigabit service from LUS Fiber is one of the most robust Internet offerings on the market today,” says Terry Huval, Director of Lafayette Utilities System and LUS Fiber. “We built this community network with a promise to the people of Lafayette that we will work hard to provide them with new opportunities through this unique, state-of-the-art fiber technology, and that’s just what we’ve done.”

That puts Lafayette on the map with Chattanooga, Tenn., as the two fastest operating fiber broadband networks in the country selling to both residential and business customers.  Both are publicly-owned networks private companies like AT&T have lobbied hard to banish.

In fact, Louisiana’s record on broadband outside of Lafayette is decidedly poor.

An $80 million federal grant to fund much-needed improvements to the state’s Internet infrastructure was returned in what one public official called Gov. Bobby Jindal’s special favor to Big Telecom companies like AT&T.

Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell publicly berated the Republican governor for intentionally interfering with the project until time ran out and the government withdrew its funding.

The cancellation of the project has proved embarrassing because it was the first time a state lost federal broadband grant money.

The state’s Division of Administration eventually scrapped plans for the public broadband network and replaced it with a proposal to use grant dollars to purchase long term institutional broadband contracts from private providers.  AT&T is the dominant local phone company in Louisiana — the same company that has steadfastly refused to provide DSL service across rural Louisiana. The new proposal would have not delivered any broadband access to individual Louisiana homes, only to institutions like schools, libraries, and local government agencies.

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