How much longer will the Chanute Tribune and city staff beat the dead horse of fiber to the home? I would ask, “How many times does the canard of its profitability have to be refuted?” However, that is answered by one of my Undeniable Truths of Government, “The dumber the idea, the more likely government will fund it.”

In a recent letter to the Tribune, I completely refuted the cost analysis of the notion that a 1 GB fiber to the home could be sold for $35 a month, when in fact it would cost about triple that to break even. Even Mr. Brayen, who presented the plan to the city, admitted that his calculations didn’t account for the costs of connecting to the backbone, maintenance, personnel, ongoing sustainability and other costs associated with supplying a utility.

If you did an honest calculation of the costs they would easily exceed $100 a month. That is the real reason Google is abandoning its fiber to the home network. It was neither profitable nor sustainable. How our city staff could think that a community with fewer inhabitants than Google has employees, could make a flawed business model work that Google itself admits is a failure, defies rational thinking.

Mr. Cantrell, by a vote of our city commission was ordered to break out the fiber network from the electric utility so that we could ascertain its true profitability. Why the city commission has not brought him on the carpet for failure to perform that task, along with numerous others, is baffling to me.

Mr. Cantrell has played politics, obstructed the commissioners, tried to scuttle the Orizon relocation to Chanute, and on and on and on. The fact that Mr. Cantrell is seeking employment elsewhere indicates that he no longer wishes to be our city manager. Our commission should grant him his wish, and before we beat the dead horse of fiber again, we should beat the bushes for a new city manager.

Bernard J. Neyer


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