On this week’s News15 Consumer & Finance Report we talk to Jan Swift, host of the Discover Lafayette Podcast, about her recent episode featuring former LUS Director Terry Huval and former LCG Mayor-President Joey Durel.
Here’s an excerpt from Jan’s article:
It’s been almost ten years since LUS Fiber began rolling out what is known as the “4th Utility -Fiber to the Home (FTTH),” which gave Lafayette residents access to the gold standard of internet connectivity: high-speed fiber optic internet service. In this episode of Discover Lafayette, Terry Huval, recently retired Director of Lafayette Utilities System, outlines the history of how the City of Lafayette invested in its future by creating Louisiana’s first community-owned broadband system, LUS Fiber.
The City of Lafayette and its leaders have a strong history of stepping up to provide great technological services to its residents. In fact, Lafayette Utilities Systems was proposed by city leaders after the world watched in awe as the 1893 Chicago’s World Fair was lit up by electricity; the desire for pressurized water, as well as the ability to light its towns and streets, drove the public to demand its own electrical system.
By 1897, Lafayette Utilities System was operational with the opening of its Grant Street plant. The ability to offer electricity placed Lafayette in the lead position to be selected as the site for the Southwest Louisiana Industrial Institute (now UL – Lafayette) which opened its doors in 1901, and set Lafayette apart from neighboring cities as electricity attracted commerce, opportunity and growth.
Jumping forward a century, Terry Huval had been with LUS for 10 years when Joey Durel was elected mayor and took office in 2004. Terry seized upon the opportunity to pitch the idea of a community-owned broadband network to bring fiber directly to the homes of Lafayette residents. An existing fiber ring around Lafayette had already been built in 1998 to support communication between LUS’s electric substations, and by 2000, LUS worked with LEDA and the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce to establish a wholesale and governmental retail network.
To continue reading and to listen to the podcast click HERE.