We are asking you to join with us in our effort to repeal the Local Government (un)Fair Competiton Act. BellSouth's success in using this law to delay Lafayette's project makes it clear that the municipal fiber optic network voted in by the people of Lafayette on July 16th is best defended by working for immediate and complete repeal of the Act that makes BellSouth's obstructionism possible.
If you think BellSouth should back off and leave us alone, we hope you'll let some people know -- and we've got a Repeal! page devoted to helping you do just that. (You can also jump to an "Act" page that helps you complain directly to BellSouth or circulate our famous Christmas carol.
We now return you to our regularly scheduled webpage:
Lafayette Coming Together (LCT) is a volunteer corps that is motivated by the vision of creating a better Lafayette by joining together to pursue common goals.Those motivations fuel projects developed by its membership. LCT has committed itself to three broad areas of action: the Digital Divide, Defending the Fiber, and (most enigmatically) Dreaming.
LCT had its birth in "The Fight for Fiber," campaigning for the referendum that passed here in Lafayette last July 16th. LCT is proud of its instrumental role in that victory. The organization formed a PAC and funded radio spots, billboard, and yard signs with its volunteers manning distribution of signs, door to door campaigning, the construction of radio and TV spots, an email list and blast, and an innovative viral internet campaign whose crown jewel was the Fiber Film Festival..
In the wake of the fiber campaign, Lafayette was faced with the consequences of the devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. LCT members jumped into that battle as well, and its members were crucial in developing and manning a communications center for evacuees in the Cajundome (the "computer room") and running its internet connections and VOIP phones. Members also worked to bring technical resources in to supply FEMA, the Red Cross, and area religious and service organizations with modern telecommunications equipment and connections.
|| Defending the Fiber
|The LCT Digital Divide Committee is currently working on a series of projects whose purpose is to make sure that the all our citizens will gain the benefits of advanced fiber technologies. Our current projects include refurbishing a room full of computers for use in community centers, putting together an open-source software suite, developing computer and internet courses, finding locations for classes to be held, developing an inventory of needs, and working to get a baseline surveyof our community's computer and internet use.
Volunteer work continues in all these areas.
|We remain focused on defending what the community won in the referendum, and in making sure no one can take it away. The incumbent telecommunications companies show no sign of gracefully accepting our community's vote. Continued opposition at the Public Service Commission and in the courts are evidence of their intentions. We anticipate future legislative challenges as well. We fully intend to continue our grassroots, determined, and often light-hearted support.
We believe that the so-called "Municipal Fair Competition Act" has led to incumbent abuse and we support calls for its repeal made by representatives of the cities of Lafayette and New Orleans.
|Mostly we are talking, with each other and with others in the community. What can be done with the technology tools we're building for ourselves? What's next? How can we make sure that all our people move forward together?
Dreams are the basis for the everything else.
We hope to get a "salon" or series of discussion groups together to think about these issues more systematically and we would welcome your ideas for getting this going.
|To get involved, contact the digital divide committee at DD@LafayetteComingTogether.org. We're obviously in need of talent and dedication.
||A letter-writing group is forming and we've got some creative ideas for stirring up a little trouble for the incumbents and having some fun. Want to help? We'd love to have you. Defense@LafayetteComingTogether.org
||Volunteers are needed. This is the fun, and the difficult, part. Write us if you'd like to be notified of these discussions or if you have an idea for an interest group. Dreaming@LafayetteComingTogether.org