Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Graham Richard - Cited by REASON
The publication is by the libertarian REASON Foundation. Steve Titch of Reason cites Fort Wayne Mayor Graham Richard favorably in the January 23, 2006 Reason online publication Out of Control (and into choice and competition). The article is called "A carrot, not a stick."
Reason describes Out of Control "as Reason Foundation's web log on competition and choice in public policy. The choices are out there, and the ideas are here."
The telephone companies, like oil and big pharma, are easy political targets. Until undone by his latest round of verbal miscues, even New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was enjoying good press by routinely complaining about BellSouth’s opposition to the idea of a city-run taxpayer-financed wireless system.
And if you want to see plain everyday government-sponsored vitriol, just pop over to archives and links at www.lafayetteprofiber.com or www.tricitybroadband.com, where municipal broadband activism has pretty much devolved into whining about the local incumbents.
So it takes some chutzpah for a local official to pro-actively court a Baby Bell and outwardly show preference for a private enterprise approach to broadband over municipal ownership. But a nod must go to Mayor Graham Richard of Ft. Wayne, Ind., who upon learning that Verizon was set to roll out its FiOS fiber-to-the-home broadband platform in 50 U.S. cities, did much to make sure the company made his town was one of them.
Titch closes with:
The result is that FiOS FTTH, a six-month old service, is rolling out in Ft. Wayne while heavily hyped municipal systems launched as far back three years ago, such as Ashland, Ore., Truckee-Donner and San Jose, Calif., and Acworth, Ga., remain partially built, stalled and bleeding borrowed money, or not built at all.Photo credit: Office of Sen. Richard Lugar
The report also comes as the Indiana Legislature debates a major telecom reform bill, which has drawn heated opposition because 1) it would place severe limits on municipal broadband initiatives and 2) it would create a statewide video franchise fee structure that would let phone companies like Verizon build FiOS anywhere in the state upon approval from the Indiana Public Utilities Commission.
What must these “consumer advocates” make of Ft. Wayne, which flew in the face of their conventional policy wisdom, and now leads Indiana in FTTH?