25 November 2003 Pasadena, CA Lightwave -- Engineering and consulting firm Tetra Tech announced today that it was awarded a three-year contract to develop a fiber-optic network for the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA). This largest-of-its-kind project will deliver high-speed fiber directly to homes and businesses over an open, wholesale network owned and managed by a consortium of local communities.
The UTOPIA infrastructure will operate much like a public road system, providing open access to information transport to promote commerce. This approach is being viewed as a potential model by a number of communities across the United States.
The first phase of the contract, for one year, is valued by the Tetra Tech at approximately $22 million. If all phases of the contract proceed, the contract is valued by Tetra Tech at approximately $240 million over approximately 3 years.
UTOPIA will be issuing municipal revenue bonds during the first quarter of 2004 to fund the project. All phases of this contract are contingent upon funding. If funding is received, Tetra Tech will be responsible for program management, engineering, permitting, and constructing the UTOPIA network. The first phase of the project will bring the high-speed network to an estimated 30,000 businesses and residences, and will involve approximately 3 million feet of fiber. Much of the construction will be subcontracted to local Utah-based suppliers.
Mr. Roger Black, UTOPIA's chief operating officer, said, "We are very pleased to have selected Tetra Tech on this largest-of-its-kind project. Tetra Tech's nationwide work on `last mile' fiber-optic networks, and their success to help prepare Salt Lake City's fiber-optic network for the Olympic Games, made them well suited for Project UTOPIA. The public-private partnership with Tetra Tech, other contractors and suppliers, and the telecommunications service providers that will use the ultra-high-speed network, promises to offer affordable high-quality services including Internet, voice, television, video-on-demand, home security and other innovative features to a third of Utah's population."
UTOPIA is a consortium of 18 municipalities organized under an inter-local agreement and functioning as a single political subdivision of the state of Utah. UTOPIA exists to solve the last mile challenge in telecommunications for its member cities by providing access to advanced communications to every household and every business within its boundaries. Following the public utilities model, UTOPIA plans to build an open-access fiber-optic network that will provide wholesale transport for service providers that in turn, market their services to UTOPIA communities' residents and businesses.