Lafayette Yes! takes on BellSouth’s Obstructionism

If you don’t get the Advertiser, or simply do most of your reading online (guilty as charged) you will have found it easy to miss the full page ad on page A4 of the Sunday edition blasting BellSouth.

The headline:


says what a lot of folks have been saying recently…from big boys Durel, Huval, and Ottinger to the Daily Advertiser in last Sunday’s lead editorial, to bloggers Doug and yours truly, to folks muttering about picketing in digital divide meetings, to just plain folks grumping about it in CC’s–the tone is turning ugly for BellSouth.

The bulk of the ad is an open letter from Joey Durel to Duane Ackerman, BellSouth’s CEO in Atlanta. It accuses BellSouth of working to block the will of the people Lafayette, and notes BellSouth’s losses at the polls and in the courts. The letter suggests that in the wake of Katrina and Rita BellSouth invest in rebuilding Louisiana and not spend their energy standing in the way of Lafayette investing in itself.

The final paragraph:

In Lafayette it is time for you to acknowledge and allow new competition in the marketplace for telecommunications services. It is time to understand that your customers, the people of Lafayette, resent your interference and with a majority voice want you to know–ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

I think that Durel has it right. The fact that Cox has apparently decided it would rather compete than litigate makes for a contrast that exposes BellSouth’s positions as a choice they are making. –It’s clear that they could make other choices if Cox can.

With Kal Saloom joining the chorus of those expressing frustration with a splash you can bet that this sentiment is being heard in the boardrooms of Acadiana as well. The Lafayette YES! PAC he heads represented the business community’s contribution to the referendum fight and this ad serves notice that that portion of the community has not forgotten that the fight is still ongoing. The list of endorsers of the Fiber To The Home project makes that clear.

The ad suggest that people contact BellSouth’s Board of directors. I heartily agree. You can join the effort by writing:



Office of the Corporate Secretary
Board of Directors
BellSouth Corporation
1155 Peachtree St., NE
Suite 19A01
Atlanta, GA 30309-3610

Enough IS Enough.

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