UTOPIA cities volunteer for Google FTTH test bed

FEBRUARY 18, 2010 By Stephen Hardy -- People wondering how Google was going to handle fiber installation in their FTTH test bed communities may have a partial answer: In some cases, they won’t have to.

FEBRUARY 18, 2010 By Stephen Hardy -- People wondering how Google was going to handle fiber installation in its FTTH test bed communities may have a partial answer: In some cases, it may not have to.

The cities of the UTOPIA community-based FTTH network, led by West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder, say they will bid to be one of Google’s test communities.

The UTOPIA network -- which, like its nearby iProvo cousin -- is very similar to the vision Google outlined in its recent FTTH announcement. It is based on an open access model and provides direct fiber links capable of supporting 1-Gbps services directly to homes.

Both networks, however, have had trouble making ends meet -- iProvo more so than UTOPIA. (See "Provo announces sale of FTTH network to Broadweave" and "Industry debates wholesale open access model") Google's involvement would provide UTOPIA with a significant shot in the arm.

Mayor Winder is already touting UTOPIA’s suitability for Google’s purposes. “Last week Google affirmed that what the cities of UTOPIA are trying to do in boldly bringing fiber to their communities is the right move for the future of telecom in this country,” said Mayor Winder. “It is as if our cities have been buying a certain stock for years and the world wasn’t sure if we were doing the right thing. Then one day Warren Buffet walks in the room and announces that he is going to buy that same stock. Now they are sitting up and paying attention.”

“Few communities are poised like the cities of UTOPIA to offer a real partnership in fiber deployment,” added Todd Marriott, UTOPIA’s executive director. “I applaud Google’s efforts to make this necessary infrastructure available and to encourage the kind of innovation that can only come over fiber-to-the-premise technology. It’s encouraging to see that our vision of a gig connection to every home, which we’ve been talking about for the last year, is shared by Google.”


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