On October 17, Jonathan Chambers received an email that wasn't meant for him.
Chambers is one of the top executives at Conexon [conexon.us], a broadband company that has built and operates dozens of fiber networks in rural parts of America. Conexon recently won one of the Louisiana state government's GUMBO grants [la.gov] to deploy fiber-to-the-home service in East Carroll Parish, where the poverty rate [census.gov] of 37.6 percent is over three times the national average [census.gov].
"This isn't our biggest project anywhere. But in many ways it's our most important," Chambers told Ars in a phone interview. Conexon primarily works with electric cooperatives, favoring a business model in which the local community owns the fiber network and Conexon operates it under a lease agreement.
Chambers told Ars he didn't respond but forwarded the message "to some friends saying, you know, 'get a load of this.'" The email was shared with Ars by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's Community Broadband Networks Initiative, which works to expand locally owned broadband options and has been covering [muninetworks.org] the East Carroll Parish saga.
"The only thing surprising about this is the Machiavellian thinking on display in the email has accidentally made its way out into the open," Sean Gonsalves, a reporter, editor, and researcher for the group, told Ars.