UTOPIA cities plan for FTTP growth

April 8, 2010
APRIL 8, 2010 --The 11 cities of the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) say they are discussing options for the next stage of the open-access, fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network’s growth.

APRIL 8, 2010 --The 11 cities of the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) say they are discussing options for the next stage of the open-access, fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network’s growth.

Presumably, this is in addition to potentially acting as one of Google’s FTTH test cities (see “UTOPIA cities volunteer for Google FTTH test bed”).

UTOPIA hopes to build on the momentum it has gathered since 2008. “In less than two years -- since we retained the new management team -- the network has added about 50 percent as many new subscribers as the network had gained since 2002, grown from three service providers to 12, and we’ve deployed fiber throughout Tremonton and Brigham City, and in portions of Layton and West Valley City,” says UTOPIA Board Chair Kane Loader of Midvale City. “The UTOPIA model is working, but we need to maintain this growth in customers.”

The new plan anticipates adding about 20,000 more customers over the next several years. “We’ve known for a long time that UTOPIA needs a much larger customer base, and a good mix of business and residential customers, to make the books balance,” says Murray Mayor Dan Snarr. “Our cities are already obligated to the network for years to come, so we need to grow to critical mass rapidly, based on a plan to ensure long-term financial health.”

Under this next phase of growth, the 11 pledging cities would create a new bond and release funds incrementally as demand is demonstrated. Officials from the UTOPIA cities -- Brigham City, Centerville, Layton, Lindon, Midvale, Murray, Orem, Perry, Payson, Tremonton, and West Valley -- are working with UTOPIA staff to finalize the funding plan.

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