The citizens of Lafayette, Louisiana vote today to approve the funds needed to build a city-wide fiber optic network for high-speed internet connectivity. The city won a legal challenge by the two private sector companies that serve Lafayette earlier and if the voters choose to approve the network this city in the heart of Cajun country could be the impetus to other cities throughout the country.
If Lafayette is successful in winning support for its network, it could help rally citizens in the 14 states where municipal networks have already been banned or limited, said Joey Durel, president of Lafayette Parish.
"What the cable and phone companies do a lot better than provide service to customers is work politicians," he said. "Unless towns like Lafayette get moving, I’m afraid that more states could pass laws limiting these kinds of networks. If this referendum passes here in Lafayette, I think we’ll start to see some states undoing those laws."