“Competition ups expenses for LUS fiber optics plan”

The Advertiser also covers LUS’ expenses to date. (see Mike’s post below for the Advocate’s version). The lead-in paragraph makes for a clear summary:

“The LUS fiber-to-the-home project approved last week has already cost more than $451,000, three times what it would have cost without interference from private telecommunications companies, Director Terry Huval said Tuesday.”

Claire Taylor’s story has informative breakouts of the costs for additional public relations and legal costs as well a more detailed item by item list of costs. The biggest single cost is legal, and as Mike remarks, that cost is likely to rise as the process is extended by incumbent obstructionism. To Mike’s list of battles at the Public Service Commission you might want to add future expenses at bond hearings in Baton Rouge and negotiating with the state auditor’s office regarding the recently created regulatory powers that new law initially developed by BellSouth creates.

As the project advances a major, and not necessarily very visible cost may well be any successful delay managed by BellSouth and Cox. Even if there is actually little hope of successfully challenging LUS on specific points the incumbents realize that every day of delay raises the costs of the project in terms of interest paid and income delayed. This sort of simple obstructionism turned into an uncomfortable bump in the road for Bristol, Virginia’s project and we might well expect the same sort of thing here.

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