LCG Fires up Integrated Voice/Data Service

The Independent blog carries a nice post on Lafayette Consolidated Government’s (LCG) bringing their phone system in-house.

The basic story is that LCG will be getting more for less. (An advantage that we anticipate being extended to the community come next January’s LUSFiber launch.)

Keith Thibodeaux, the LCG CIO proudly announced the savings and service upgrade; as the Ind reports:

Lafayette Consolidated Government has gone live with its own internal phone network, expected to generate approximately $1 million in savings over the next decade…

The IPT system, which has been a goal of City-Parish President Joey Durel’s administration over the past three years, also offers LCG employees added features such as call-forwarding and integrated messaging.

Noted in passing was the reduction in monies paid out to AT&T:

The system greatly reduces LCG’s dependence on AT&T’s services. “AT&T used to do everything,” says LCG Chief Information Officer Keith Thibodeaux. “Now, the entire system is internal to us.” While the system will still be relying on some AT&T network lines, Thibodeaux anticipates LCG’s phone bill with AT&T to go down from $60,000 a month to approximately $20,000 a month…”

LCG has offices outside the city, of course, and can’t drop AT&T altogether. Yet. An interesting sidelight is AT&T’s relation to the state of Louisiana. Louisiana owns an extensive telecom network and web of dark fiber spread out all over the state. And Louisiana was, I understand, BellSouth’s largest single customer, laying down a huge sum of cash for the privlege of giving AT&T an exclusive contract for all state services. The administration, if it is really serious about running the government responsibly, should be looking into following Lafaytette’s lead.

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