This Sunday The Advertiser runs a fairly substance-free story on LUS fiber at the top of the front page: “First phase of LUS Fiber runs smoothly.” The basic point, of course, is that the service is up and running and that Huval says that it is gathering the expected number of subscribers..but that’s where the story reveals its lack of solid information. That’s not entirely the fault of the reporter: she spends paragraphs 2 through 4 reporting that LUS, Cox, and AT&T won’t say what their subscription figures look like. In LUS’ case this will eventually be pretty easy to discern simply from the public records of the budget—or so I would think. So it’s not clear what long-term benefit accrues from copying the incumbents on this. Though I do know that the infamous (un)fair competition act includes some provision for LUS shielding proprietary data I doubt that the practical politics involved will allow anything like the obfuscation the incumbents have engaged in. The wind is changing at the national level and, it looks like the federal context is changing in ways that may preclude keeping all this secret even for the incumbents.
The not-news aside there is an intriguing picture and one bit of news. The intriging picture shows Huval comparing LUS Fiber with Cox. I’d have loved to hear those claims—Huval is pretty notoriously conservative about the claims he makes and it’d be fun to know what he feels certain enough to remark on. Alas, there’s no clue in the story itself. The bit of news is that work has begun on the buildout for section 2; my guess there is that crews specializing in laying down trunk fiber are simply being moved on to the next pieces of the project as section one’s trunks are are completed. (Anybody in section 2 seeing digging or lines being hung in their area?)