EATEL Joins Fiber Fight

The fruits of competition…

That image to the left is a full page ad in the A section of today’s Sunday Advertiser. Click on the image for a large, readable image…(caution, it’s a big jpg.)

EATel’s experience in their fight over in Ascension parish ought to inform ours. Clearly Cox “Greater Baton Rouge” is offering special deals only to EATel’s customer base—possibly only to those that have threatened to move to the local, more powerful, fiber to the home alternative.

That, as EATel is pointing out in this ad, isn’t fair pricing. You’ve got to offer the same deals to all. Otherwise you are engaging in a form of predatory pricing. —But you don’t have to promote the great deal everywhere…On the other hand you do have to be willing to give it to anyone who asks for it.

So EATel is engaging in the wildly unusual act of promoting a great deal from its competition so you can ask for it. Cox can refuse, of course. If it does you should tell EATel who is surely preparing a lawsuit alleging unfair competition if this deal isn’t offered fairly. Or Cox can honor the offer. Which would be hugely expensive if any number of people take it up outside of EATel’s relatively small service area on the south rim of Baton Rouge.

It’s a good deal. (And will cost Cox real revenue whenever and wherever it keeps this promise. It’s evidence Cox is running scared.) But folks here in the city of Lafayette that are in the first build area would be best served to hold off. (IMHO) A better product is coming in nine months with hugely faster net speeds that will keep those dollars in local hands. (That 100 megs of intranet speed is going to make a whole lot of difference. I had two conversations at a party last night that revved me up on that score.) And even if localism and a superior product don’t make your choice as easy as mine will be wait a little while anyway. –The closer LUS gets to launch the better the deals for Cox’s standard alternative will become. This is only the first offering.

Folks outside Lafayette’s first build should look into this. If Cox is going to push the bounds of fair competition with their small local competitors they shouldn’t be allowed to do it secretly or cheaply. Fair Competition. That was what Cox wanted. They ought to be held to it. Call ’em and ask for the deal. What you want to do if they give you any guff is mention “Special Promotion R-123” — that detail is in the fine print at the bottom of the ad.

Cox was foolish to combine the Baton Rouge and Acadiana markets. Now they’ve got a two front battle on their hands and the contrast between little, local alternatives with a superior technology and the huge predatory out-of-state corporation with old technology will be inescapable.

Justathought: LUS should consider some coop advertising deal with EATel. I get the Baton Rouge Advocate and there’s no similar EATel ad in it today.

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