Lafayette

Mar 2, 2012 11:12 PM by Shawn Kline

LUS Fiber, Cox cable-war heats up

LUS Fiber says it's having a hard time with its main competitor Cox Communications.

Following a routine audit, LUS Director Terry Huval says the city-owned fiber company scored nearly perfect in eight categories audited by the Louisiana Public Service Commission.
Now, Cox has filed for an intervention. An intervention allows the cable company to question the audit.

Unlike private cable providers, the government-owned LUS Fiber is subject to audits under the Louisiana Local Government Fair Competition Act.

"It's supposed to put us on a level playing field with our competitors," Huval said. "It actually puts us on an un-level playing field to our detriment."

An audit of LUS Fiber found very few red flags but according to the Fair Competition Act, anyone can question the audit- that's an intervention. Cox Communications filed an intervention.

LUS Director Terry Huval says this is the first time this has ever happened under this act.

"Some of our competitors are choosing to take aggressive actions." Huval says, "to create mischief and create a distraction."

A Cox spokesperson says the cable company is just exercising its rights as a competitor.
Stated in the rules under this act, any taxpayer can file an intervention, so long as it's filed in a timely manner but LUS Fiber isn't buying that.
Huval says it's a dirty move to force more spending.

"...to try to prolong this agony," he said. "it means more costs on our part for experts and attorneys to deal with this."

LUS Fiber is waiting to hear back from the Public Service Commission to hear what's next.

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