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Another Lafayette Headed for Fiber-Fast Broadband; Comcast May See Competition in Indiana

Phillip Dampier November 20, 2012 Broadband Speed, Comcast/Xfinity, Community Networks, Competition, Consumer News, Metronet, Public Policy & Gov't Comments Off on Another Lafayette Headed for Fiber-Fast Broadband; Comcast May See Competition in Indiana

Lafayette, Ind. is just one city council vote away from securing fiber broadband competition for the community of 67,000 residents in west-central Indiana.

Fiber provider Metronet is interested in providing broadband, television, and phone competition to business and residential customers who currently have one choice for cable: Comcast. Frontier provides satellite and DSL broadband to parts of the community as well, but neither stands a chance of competing against the fiber speeds Metronet is capable of providing Tippecanoe county.

Two previous city council votes were in favor of the Metronet project, which will not cost the city a dime.

“The city is issuing bonds that private investors are going to buy,” city counselor Eddie VanBogaert told The Exponent. “We have these people already lined up. This company is going to be able to get a tax break effectively on putting about $60 million worth of fiber infrastructure across the city.”

Metronet intends to start operating in more populated parts of the community and build its network further out over time. The city will hold a right of refusal on the lines, which means if Metronet were to fail or seek to sell its operations, the city can control who ultimately runs the fiber infrastructure. In the past, cable operators have ended up launching predatory price wars against new competitors, eventually buying them out and raise prices back to pre-competition levels.

The final vote by the city council will be held Dec. 3.

Stop the Cap! first reported on this venture in a piece published in January.

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