The Independent published a cover story on the state of LUS Fiber, the first of two in a series. The article, entitled “Waiting to Connect” tallies the issues and missteps of the first two year or so of its service. As you’d expect the story focuses on the dramatic moments—and those are the ones where things did not got smoothly. Those things that worked out exactly as planned…like an ambitous roll-out schedule that for launch and final buildout that many loudly doubted could be done went of with only minor hitches. That’s not “news.”
The Independent does a the community the service of searching out the details on many of the glitches those of us in the community saw occurring but did not understand the background that might explain them. So if you were curious about the set top box debacle–you get a partial explanation here. There’s also mention of why that last small bit of the network isn’t yet complete…contractor troubles. Cox’s game-playing with the NCTC (which reflects very much to the discredit of both Cox and that cooperative) is treated in greater detail. A reason for the larger-than-expected basic tier is laid out plainly and its relation to costs and the NCTC mess clearly shown. It’s good to get these kinds of explanations.
But it shouldn’t need to wait on the local news weekly for supporters to find out these details. LUS needs to be much more open with its constituents-customers. That they are local and trusted is by far their greatest advantage. By avoiding talking about their problems LUS makes the problems “theirs” instead of “ours.” A very large mistake. Look at the support that immediately flared up when the unjust exclusion of LUS from the national cable coop was made public–or even the minor flap when Cox played snit with the “I’m proud of LUS Fiber” signs. Both of those, to be plain brutal, were marketing opportunities. LUS needs to seek the support of its citizens…and can only do that if it is much more open than its competitors.