Of course internet should be a utility. The scale advantages of rolling out
ubiquitous high-quality service would spur innovation in the private sector.
Internet access is becoming as important as electricity was 2-3 generations ago.
Without high-quality internet, certain citizens will be at a significant
competitive disadvantage to those who have such access.
I support the proposal from Macquarie. It's win-win. Similar to the
Google Fiber deals that Salt Lake and other cities are falling over themselves
to get, the kicker is that Macquarie's proposal provides for competition
between internet services providers that promises to keep prices low. Heck even
Comcast and Century Link could use it. In "google" cities it is google
service and pricing - period. The Fiberoptic infrastructure that UTOPIA
provides has enabled me to save $60 per month on phone and internet over what I
was previously being billed by COMCAST and my speed is probably 40 times faster
(850 Mbps up and down). The fiberoptic service has never gone down in nearly
two years. We had outages every few weeks before that with Comcast. The
Internet highway is here to stay. Comcast and Century Link had the option to lay
fiber for their customers and they chose not to. Ask yourself, if your city had
Google knock on your door and invite you to become a Google fiber city would you
do it? Well, the Macquarie offer is even better.
another public sector financial disaster. the article does tell the whole story
of mismanagement and taxpayers' financial loss with this boondoggle. any
time the government gets involved in the "Father knows best"role, you
can be assured the taxpayers will suffer.
Yes fiberoptic infrastructure should be a utility. Yes, the internet is very
much like other utilities such as roads or electricity. This is a much better
deal than even the much coveted Google Fiber would offer because it allows for
competition. As a household that enjoys fiberoptic service through Utopia, and
is saving $60-80 per month for phone and internet service that has been MUCH
MORE reliable than antiquated comcast or century link services, at speeds of
~850 Mbps, I can tell you that this deal with Macquarie is a great opportunity.
Don't let the people unopia nay sayers mislead you. If they had their way
we would all still have outhouses and be hauling our water in buckets from the
Being required to pay $240 or more per year every year for the next 30 years
whether you use or want a service or not. I am a fan of high speed internet,
but lets call a spade a spade. That is definitely a TAX and so whatever Utah
laws there are regarding imposing taxes need to be obeyed. Does that mean they
get high speed internet for $20 or will they be subidizing those that sign up?
Do people still have to sign up with another service provider that piggy backs
on Utopia, so you end up still paying a high rate because everyone wants their
cut? If a system can deliver good value, people will flock to
it. I pay over $50 per month for comcast for internet and if it wasn't
bundled it would be over $70 per month. Were Google fiber is available, comcast
charges or offers the service a much lower price due to competition. It seems
Utopia should be able to compete and survive without being forced on people. I
highly suspect mismanagement and poor business planning.And how
about those in places like Brigham City where they were charged a $3000 hookup
I think that moving this forward is great. We built in Payson, UT about 3 years
ago, and we were excited when we learned about Utopia. Heck, we even have one of
their utility boxes in our front yard. However, do to all the mess the network
was in, etc., they wanted $2000+ just to do the install..."Say
WHAT??"Anyway, unsurprisingly we went with someone else, but the
idea is still very appealing to me, especially if they make that install more
reasonable (say...$100 or less). As I understand it, all of the member cities
are still on the hook for an immense debt associated with UTOPIA, to one degree
or another. Apparently Payson is a smaller player in all of this, but personally
I would really like to see them come on board. The investors' 30 year plan
appears to allow the cities to pay off those huge amounts of debt, get everyone
connected, and then once the major infrastructure is built, continue to provide
services at minimal rates, even lower than the estimated $20 monthly fee.My question: already owing so much, why NOT take advantage and make this
a net positive rather than the money sucker it has become?
UTOPIA is for business. Ordinary people don't want it, don't need it,
and should not have to pay for it. All of the costs and liabilities of UTOPIA
should be applied to business operations.
Somehow in Draper we are fine without UTOPIA. This is the biggest fraud in
Utah history. Stopping would not be a financial disaster - it is a SUNK Cost.
Try to get something out assets(if the cities deal is set up to do so which I
doubt) and move on.The cities are at fault for being sold. If you
believe people live in Murray because of Utopia, wait till they realize they pay
$400 more per year whether they use Utopia or not. All city council members
should be embarrassed. Whether you believe it is good or bad, financially
it's a disaster. What Deseret News should do is go undercover an talk to
first level engineers working for Utopia. When should Comcast and CentryLink
start to sue? All money spent on this has been lost. All money in the
future will be lost.The concept of running fiber is great. Doing
something like Utopia is crazy. Letting crazy people run Utopia just might be
crazy. Due to the financial disaster Utopia is falling way behind on
technology. The funniest thing may be that the "O" in Utopia stands for
NO, NO, NO!!! Many of us do not want another tax, and especially one that is
being created to hide the incompetence of the elected officials that started
UTOPIA. This idea that we need high speed internet as a utility is a lie. Most
residents do not need it at all, many may want it, but the majority of us have
already voted with our choice not to sign up. This should make it very clear
that we want choice in our internet provider. On another note, the research is
starting to mount against the current trend of amassing hours in front of
computer and television screens. I predict there will be a huge reversal trend
where families that care about their health will start getting away from the
addictive and sedentary past-time of glueing their faces to the electronics in
their homes. Ever seen the movie "The Village", there is a valid point
in this film that the modern age, especially electronics, are stealing the
humanity and distancing ourselves from really enjoying life and relationships.
I'm all for technological advancement, but at what cost? No matter how you
look at the UTOPIA/McQuarie deal, it's a tax not a fee, especially when
citizens are forced to pay whether they use it or not. Plus the fact that if
you don't pay the UTOPIA tax, the city can turn off your water. This is a
very poor business model and eliminates competition which actually drives
innovation. The best thing the UTOPIA cities could do is put this financial
boondoggle on the open market and sell it to a private concern such as Google
Fiber, where customers can choose to pay for the service or not. I appeal to
all the citizens involved to call your city officials and tell them to vote NO
on UTOPIA because there's a much better way to bring fiber to the home.
To The Centerville City CouncilI get it that the Internet is important and
valuableI get it that I will likely have a monthly ISP bill for the rest
of my lifeI get it that the current infrastructure is inadequate for
current and future demandI get it that government support for highways,
trash removal, energy distribution, and communication have been beneficial for
our way of lifeI also get it that the internet is different than other
utilitiesVery large and very profitable players already exist and have the
wherewithal to manage investments in infrastructure and other technology that
will make delivery easier and more profitable.Before we jump on board and
saddle our neighbors with more debt, let's let the industry that stands to
make vast sums shoulder the risk and give us a choice about whether or not we
want their service.Let the industry players live or die on their own
merits. Competition will foster innovation and keep the risk where it
belongs.Thanks for your consideration.
Better kept in the private sector. This would become another Govt. mismanaged
boondoggle that would cost taxpayers more than they would care for as usual.
Keep the Govt. out of it PLEASE!
Macquarie is demanding relatively quick deadlines on huge decisions with binding
commitments, forcing city councils to feel pushed to make a decision. It is
rare that good decisions are made without a calm measured approach and time to
really think things through, especially when money is involved. Why can't
these decisions be made when we vote, allowing citizens a real voice?
What's the rush? My concern is we will go from huge amounts of
debt from one dumb decision to becoming more financially entangled by leaping
into another dumb decision. What is Macquarie's business track record? Do
we have the time to get educated about them and study them out to see what they
really offer? Our city council trusted the Utopia folks and the dreams they
offered. Only 10% of our city is actually living that dream after years and
millions of dollars of debt, an obvious failure with long term ramifications for
every citizen. Will our city council be more wise this time or will the citizens
continue to carry the costs?
I also question the wisdom of locking yourself into a 30-year commitment with a
technology that will most likely be superseded by other technology during that
timeframe. The nice thing about leaving it in the private sector is that
competitive forces will drive investment and innovation, and in turn deliver
lower prices and better technology.The sad thing is that those of us
with decades of experience in the technology sector were raising warning flags
when UTOPIA was first proposed. City fathers chose to ignore the warnings and
forged ahead, mesmerized by the promise of nearly free, ubiquitous, ultra
high-speed Internet and all the promised benefits. Now that those cities have
painted themselves into a corner, the options available from this point are
severely limited. Any private corporation that offers to bail out such a project
is doing it for exactly the same reason as Google: the ability to harvest
comprehensive data from the citizens of those cities. In today's world,
that social, financial, intellectual, consumer, creative, business and thought
data is the new world currency...invaluable!
All of the questions raised so far have been answered in public meetings by
Macquarie. Is it any coincidence that century link has an employee who serves as
the secretary for the Utah tax payers Association? No conflict there is there?
And for the guy who's paying $50 for Comcast, why wouldn't you
decrease your bill from $50 to $20 if you could? Finally, the cities are not
voting on whether or not to impose a utility fee yet. They're simply voting
on whether to move to phase 2 of the due diligence process with this company.
Why wouldn't we continue to study? What other options exist that are real
and on the table today? I moved to a UTOPIA City years ago specifically for
this infrastructure. Without it, I would have to move.
If everyone is required to pay -- it is a tax.There is no such thing as
"free" in this world.Provo tried it several years ago, and is no
longer in the business. You really need to look and ask about their
experience.Considering the rate of change in the techy world, I would
think a thirty year mortgage on this is foolishness
Many are quick to dismiss the fact that the cities are on the hook for the
existing UTOPIA bonds whether or not the network gets enough subscribers to pay
for it. So, regardless of whether or not UTOPIA should have been formed in the
first place, the cities are already making those payments and must continue to
do so. Thus, what makes the most economic sense at this point is to maximize the
return on that investment. That doesn't necessarily mean to take the
Macquarie deal, but there aren't exactly a lot of other suitors beating
down UTOPIA's door.To those who trumpet the Provo deal with
Google--as I understand it, Google bought the network for $1 and assumed none of
the debt. So Provo still gets to pay for it. I'm not sure that's such
a good deal either.And for those who are concerned about the
competition, I'm sorry, but "competition" to me means more than a
choice between one of the Comcast/CenturyLink duopoly. UTOPIA offers a choice of
at least eight ISPs, and Big Cable and Big Telecom have a standing invitation to
participate if they want to.
How about taking some reimbursement from the salaries, retirements, and personal
assets of those city council members, city officials, and others who mismanaged
this fiasco?What ever happened to accountability?
All I know that is we are stuck with Comcast if we want good internet. We do
have Utopia in front of our house, but there just isn't the offers
available to sign up with them. I hope Utopia does eventually succeed so that
there can be real competition. This will help keep prices down.
@JeremyR It's also important to mention that ALL Provo residents and
businesses are paying a debt retirement fee and that Google Fiber may NOT be
available to everyone in Provo. The proposed 3P model will provide access to
Fiber to everyone in all of the UTOPIA cities.