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On Background

On Background explores the stories behind the stories. It examines the assumptions, technologies, and regulatory frameworks that shape the day-to-day fight over fiber in Lafayette.

On Background Articles

  • Open Systems and Innovation: "The Road to Innovation is Open" A fundamental decision facing the designers of the Lafayette system, is whether that system will be open or closed. Insofar as a hope for innovation and flexibility is at issue there is a strong case to be made for open systems. Will a closed system weather the coming IP storm?

  • Absentee Ownership: "The Battle for Control of Mindshare in Lafayette" Lafayette, like the rest of the country, actually gets its news and information through as disturbingly small number of large corporations who own multiple properties. Very little of the information actually available to the citizens of Acadiana are delivered through locally owned media whose first interest is in the growth and development of our region. LUS and the fiber it will control if it builds a FTTH project will be a major avenue into the home that is locally controlled and naturally governed by local interests.

  • The FUD Strategy: "Strategy: FUD" Generating Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) is the essential strategy deployed by BellSouth and Cox in the battle over fiber in Lafayette. This strategy grew to maturity in the techology wars as the last defense of those whose products were slower and less capable. The distinguishing mark of a FUD campaign is that it never really seeks to prove that anything is truly wrong with the competitor's product; the point is only to sow unwarranted doubt, and fear and then to move then on to the next little piece of disinformation. In the end, the FUDders hope that all you will recall is that "there is something wrong." Recognizing what these guys are trying to do to you is your best defense.

posted: 9/6/04