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Letters to the editor – Sunday (5-17-09)

Wishful thinking on fiber optic
Never in my life has Salisbury’s city government disappointed me as much as it has with its effort to cram fiber optic cable down the throats of the citizens of Salisbury.
Not only have they decreed this as a part of Salisbury infrastructure, they have declared war on free enterprise by going into competition with others providing almost identical services that already meet the needs of most of its citizens. The business model they have “proves” that it can be successful.
I, too, have a model on my desk. It is a ’63 Corvette model, but all the wishful thinking on my part will not make it run.
ó Allan Rouzer
Salisbury
Another bad idea
I, too, believe that government should not be in competition with private enterprise for the reason that the taxpayer picks up the bill if the project is not successful.
The May 14 editorial “Fiber optic risks, rewards” said that it’s not as if cable companies “are beating down the door (or bidding against one another)” to extend fiber optic in Salisbury.
If I recall correctly, the city awarded a franchise to only one cable company. That franchise, once awarded, gave Time-Warner and its predecessors an unfair advantage against any competition, both by being there first as well as establishing the habit of doing business with that selected cable company. Is the process now open to all comers?
Worse that that problem is the one of government not only having its own propaganda channel, as the county does now, but total control of the system. There may be competition now, but a government that grants a franchise can also pull the franchise without being required to allow any competition. To say nothing of government’s ability to monitor your phone calls and e-mail. This potential for privacy abuse and control of what you see and read is way beyond what the Founding Fathers would have wanted in a government.
Finally, and perhaps the best argument against the fiber optic idea, is the list of wonderfully successful government-in-business endeavors we have witnessed in only the last 20 years. Fieldcrest-Cannon Stadium, Summit Corporate Center and the quarter-midget race track are the three worst “build it and they will come” schemes to come down the pike.
ó Jeff Vail
Salisbury

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