Steven Titch's Latest Hackjob

As predictable as the sun rising in the east and continued strife in the Middle East, Steven Titch is at it again. As usual, he's spouting out about iProvo without a clue as to what he's talking about. Not only was he not present at the meeting referenced in the newspaper articles he linked, but he failed to go beyond the half-story presented by the Deseret Morning News (and their accompanying editorial) to get the whole picture.

For instance, he managed to skip the benefits to city departments (faster turnaround to restore power, decreased disconnect/reconnect costs, enhanced telecommuting) while condemning the idea that city departments should, you know, actually pay for their usage. The way he framed it, however, was masterfully deceptive:

And while Mayor Lewis Billings is loath to raise taxes to support iProvo, he and interim project director Kevin Garlick have said they might raise the rates city departments pay for iProvo services. Any resulting tax increase then, while not funding iProvo directly, will fund the ability of the city to do business with iProvo.

No joke they're talking about raising the rates that the city pays. After all, when you go from nothing to something, that's an increase.

I guess you can't count on objectivity or accuracy from a guy whose paycheck was cut by Qwest for several years. 

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8 Responses to Steven Titch's Latest Hackjob

  1. Jesse,

    I’ve fallen behind on my blog reading. Don’t know whether this is still an “active” post, but I’ve had a question since I saw the announcement that iProvo was going to start charging departments. Concerning most departments, that might make sense. But, as I understand it, the Power Department also will be charged. Didn’t the fiber backbone originally belong to the Power Department? If it did, and if the Power Department donated it to iProvo, it would seem that the Power Department has paid in spades.

    I realize UTOPIA is more your thing, but perhaps you know the background on this one also.

  2. Mark Towner says:

    My question about UTOPIA is why did they not start in Salt Lake City?

    On the many projects I’m working on right now, I’m actually going to need to get a warehouse/office. I will need as much band width that can be had for a reasonable price. Here is my question for you network geeks. Sever years ago somebody tried to get wireless highspeed going. It seemed every company failed as far as I know. I’m sure the technology has only improved since I used this service in 2002, does anyone know of somebody who has this or maybe a company that has extra band width that I could point a receiver dish at theri building? I’m looking for somewhere between 1700 south and 1300 south and 9th east to west temple.

  3. Jesse says:

    Steve: That’s something that’s always been kind of sketchy to me. As I understand it, the backbone was built with grant (i.e. “free”) money. The biggest chunk came from the feds to install advanced traffic monitoring to mitigate the poor air quality in the city. I can’t figure out how the “last mile” ended up costing more per household than UTOPIA’s entire system costs per household. I mean, they *had* to have built a NOC as part of the traffic monitoring, right?

    As far as the $39.5M to piggyback iProvo onto the fiber rings, my understanding is that this cost was entirely assessed to iProvo despite the Energy Department’s planned uses of it. I would think they should share at least some of the cost since they plan to take full advantage of the ubiquity.

    Mark: Salt Lake City withdrew when Qwest made some promises to increase availability of high-speed services from about 60% of the city to over 95% of the city. (Surprisingly, they made good on it too.) The new Becker administration is much more UTOPIA-friendly than Mayor Anderson was, so that might change in the next couple of years. I’m aware of at least a few dozen folks who are interested in getting UTOPIA in Salt Lake City.

    The problem that every wireless project has had (either public or private) is that 2.4GHz signals do a lousy job of penetrating obstructions like trees, walls, etc. (Digis is one of the few local wireless providers I’m aware of that’s been around for more than a few years.) Not much has changed in this regard over the last five years. WiMax is still a Real Soon Now(TM) kind of technology and given Sprint’s sudden about-face on their plans and Verizon’s jump to LTE (a GSM technology), I don’t think we’re likely to see wide-spread deployment despite the machinations of companies like Clearwire.

    The best hope for wireless is the upcoming 700MHz auction. Those signals can get through obstructions with relative ease (televisions have been doing it for decades) and the auction process guarantees national, regional and local licenses for a variety of providers. If Google gets their way, the national licenses will allow multiple competing providers in a kind of UTOPIA-style wholesale model. It’ll “only” top out at 80Mbps, but that should be enough for most folks.

    I think what you’re talking about is a dish to do point-to-point wireless. That works if you have a line-of-sight between two locations and you can usually pick up a couple of old DirecTV dishes to make it happen. The rumor mill says that you can juice a good 10-20 miles from such a setup with the right routers, but it’s certainly not bulletproof.

  4. Thanks for the info.

    With the legislative session approaching, I’ll be in SLC a lot in the near future and would love to meet you and discuss many of these issues in person.

  5. FGF says:

    Regarding SLC wireless broadband options I believe Utah Broadband ( offers WIMAX service in the 5Gbps band.

  6. FGF says:

    That’s the 5GHz band, with data rates up to 5Mbps.

  7. Mark Towner says:


    Thanks for the information. I will check into this


  8. FGF says:

    Upon further investigation, perhaps you should restrict yourself to dial-up.

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