While Cox Communications can make rate decisions in a private conference room several states away, Lafayette conducts its business in an open forum, as it should. While Cox can make repeated and periodic requests for documents under the Public Records Law, it is not subject to a corresponding obligation – a “show me your plans, but don’t dare ask to see mine” mentality. Louisiana law limits the ability of a governmental enterprise to advertise, but nothing prevents the incumbent providers from spending millions of dollars in advertising campaigns. An important focal point of the legal challenges involved the right or ability of Lafayette to pledge assets of the utilities system as security for the bonds, something that the private corporations do all of the time without the slightest scrutiny. To be sure, the “playing field is not level,” but it is the government which is disadvantaged, not the private companies.
Freedom to Connect Starts Monday, March 4
Freedom to Connect starts on Monday morning, March 4, at 9 AM EST and should not be missed. If you cannot make the live event in Silver Spring, Maryland, you can join from afar.
This conference has some incredible presenters ... and also me - Christopher Mitchell - giving a keynote in the opening session. I'll also be joining the Democracy Now show at 8 AM EST to talk about community owned networks. They also have a livestream at their site.