Articles on the Brigham City SAA Vote

The Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, and Standard-Examiner all have posted their articles on last night’s vote in Brigham City. According to the Trib, only about 70 of the over 1600 participants in the SAA opted to sign the UTA petition seeking to leave the SAA, a scant 4%. One of them admitted to not even reading the contract before signing up despite having been given the opportunity to do so. (There’s one in every crowd, you know?) Unsurprisingly, Ruth Jensen was the lone vote against it and tried several times to delay the meeting.

Brigham City will issue a bond for $3.66M (rated A3 by Moody’s or low risk) and chip in $655K of city money of which either $294K or $482K will be to wire city facilities, depending on which article is correct. The remainder of the $5.45M total construction cost comes from residents who chose to pay up-front. That works out to over 400 residents who opted to front the construction cost, over a quarter of the total participants. A pleasant surprise is that the cost of the SAA went down to $22.50 per participating residence.

From there, there’s a lot of divergence in the details of the articles. The Tribune article takes a decidedly negative slant in line with their recent editorial. The Deseret News claims that 600 participants in the SAA won’t get service because of low participation rates, a claim that doesn’t jive with the other articles at all.

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13 Responses to Articles on the Brigham City SAA Vote

  1. Dirk Poulsen says:

    I said it once and I will say it again……

    I believe that Utopia will never get on top of the expense of building and maintaining the network.

    Simply because the problems they are facing started in the beginning.

    “Poor planning and research” especially “education of” on the part of the Cities and Utopia.

    This would already be a successful completed project if it had been implemented correctly and everyone would have access to high speed “everything”.

    Band Aids and bailouts (bonds) are symptoms of very, very poor leadership. In the end the ball always rolls to the tax payer.


    “If it jams, force it, if it breaks, it needed replacing anyway”.

  2. Paul says:

    I’m curious Dirk, how would you have implemented it differently in the beginning?

  3. Dirk Poulsen says:


    I would have found Individuals with experience in the work, equipment and materials required to get a precise cost of building the system.

    If the people in charge do not really know what is required than you have exactly what Utopia has today(Not enough Customers)

    Knowing the “actual cost” upfront to produce the very system that you dream about is the first step to having success with it.

    Finding subscribers before ever committing to the initial build of the system. Nothing wrong with the bond for the commitment, just too late now for this current scenario.

    Educating citizens in each city that the system is to be built and listing all the obvious positives and negatives of the system.

    Not wasting valuable capital to build the system on “Motor homes” and new drive around and hang out in vehicles.

    If the sales people could not tell me the facts on Utopia how can I trust that the installers are doing a professional installation job?

    I know I am getting off track but here is what happened in short……..

    Our leaders had a dream….High speed “WOW”

    Money was appropriated for Utopia……..

    New equipment was purchased and fancy unnecessary things……….

    Utopia had to higher subcontractors to do the installs because they needed someone who supposedly knew how to do it.

    Utopia ran out of money because it was poorly managed and sent the subs home………….

    Our city leaders still had a vision…..

    2 years later……..

    Bond for the funds to build Utopia in Brigham city……

    Give the funds to the same people that bankrupted the first run already.

    OK……..I want the high speed fiber! How much to get it to me Paul? This week? Next week?

    7 or 8 years and still waiting!

    Go ahead and keep throwing money at sinking ships. It is what Government is good at.

    How much of the system that is currently installed will have to be redone again?

    It will be nothing short of a miracle if this gets completed…..(for real).

    Welcome to Brigham City…..

    Live Here,
    Work Here,
    “Pay” Here.

  4. barney says:

    dirk anyone can arm chair qb – if ur think u can help them succeed then y don’t u get over there and do something about it

  5. barney says:

    the thing i dont get is if utopia succeeds it would mitigate the tax exposure the utopia cities would have to pay – why then isnt the uta helping utopia become successful rather than cutting them off every time they gain a little momentum?

  6. Dirk Poulsen says:


    I have a full time Automotive business that takes about 16 hours a day 7 days a week of my time.

    Right now all my wrecker drivers are out in this storm helping people. I just finished replacing a tire and wheel for a pizza delivery driver so they could get back to their job (it’s 6:50 pm an Sat.

    (What are you doing Barney?)

    Most all my time is consumed taking care of my customers. That’s just good business.

    I did not approach Utopia, they approached me.

    You asked I answered.

    What is your real name Barney? (and) what kind of experience do you have to run a business?

  7. says:

    Dirk & Barney,

    Let me add my thoughts.

    1. The Utopia Group that is in place today is nothing like the group that was in place two years ago. They do have the necessary telecommunication and governmental experience to pull this off. Almost all of the previous team has been replaced.
    2. No problem with your fiber being installed correctly. They have hired Corning the manufacturer of the fiber to do the installation so it will be done correctly.
    3. The Utopia motor home looks extravagant but inside it is a stripped down conference room, not even a bathroom. If you are going to setup an office in 16 cities is it cheaper to buy a mobile office or rent something in 16 locations?
    4. The UTA is just an organization for Qwest and Comcast to hide behind. They are the only ones that will suffer if Utopia is a success. Both are rumored to have provided considerable funding to the UTA.
    5. Brigham City residents and business owners whether they joined Utopia or not need to do everything thay can to help it succeed. The tax pledges are already made and fail or succeed they will need to be paid. A majority of the fees paid to providers on Utopia goes back to Utopia to pay staff, Maintain Lines and Equipment, and once successful, come back to the cities to pay back those tax pledges.
    6. I am so confident in the NEW Utopia that I invested a considerable sum of money to provide services on it. Everyone in Brigham will benefit from better prices and a better quality of life once it is up and going. About 200 already connected Brigham residents would love to tell you how well it works.


  8. Dirk Poulsen says:


    1. I have never supported the UTA nor did I even know it existed until the postcard came out (must be in my own little world).
    2. I am excited to have the high speed fiber optics for about 7 years now.
    3. I could even become a customer of yours when it becomes available and I also see how you would support it as you have money invested in it.
    4. My points were based on my experience in the lack of education, complete disclosure and honesty with Brigham City. Had they done the proper planning and research and then the proper implementation wouldn’t this system already be usable today?
    5.Hopefully Brigham City quits pulling shenanigans on the small businesses here in the city and starts supporting even the ones that do other than provide Internet services.
    6. As far as “Quality Of Life” I believe that is up to individuals and has nothing to do with Utopia.


    Dirk Poulsen

  9. says:

    1. I wasn’t aware of the UTA either until they were thrown into the battle. Didn’t mean to imply that you supported them.
    2. Are you connected now? If not you should be very soon. I know one of my clients on Forest just got their fiber installed.
    3. Would love to have you as a client. It would make your online auction experience fly and save some money.
    4. I agree Utopia’s biggest problem was lack of accurate information being diseminated to the public. I am correcting misconceptions with people every day. Utopia went through about 35 sales people before they came up with the group they have today. Who knows what information was presented by the group that is no longer their.
    5. I agree Brigham city needs to improve they way they deal with small businesses. As far as I can tell most of the Utopia business has gone to someone out of state. No extra support for Internet providers.
    6. I think quality of life will be improved with Utopia. It really will bring in more jobs, more taxes, and more options for residents.

    I am happy with the way Utopia is coming together. My only wish is that for the small group that really didn’t know what they were signing up for be given some option to get out. Maybe take one off the bond for each new subscriber that signs up.


  10. Dirk Poulsen says:


    1. We can leave the UTA for everyone else to muster over.

    2. I am not connected to Utopia. I believe from what I have read they want me to commit to 24,000 dollars for a connection.

    3. What services do you offer? I will need Internet and Telephone (6 lines with rollover) and features for the main line such as call forwarding.

    4. Even though Utopia has a new crew you can’t change the fact that it is what it is. If one of my reps tells you something…..well? wouldn’t it be morally right to stick with it as a company. (This Goes back to planning and research).

    5. Brigham talks about bringing business into Brigham City.

    a. They need to support the ones that are here.

    b. The reason most small businesses do not have what people need is because they don’t have the capital to inventory what people need and if they did they don’t have that support from the community purchasing those items. (Look at Brigham City) they use out of town companies to buy there vehicle fleets, have construction projects done. I know…..they lead by example.

    6. Quality of life is not a high speed internet connection. It is knowing that you can count on your community to stand up for the things that are right.

    a. Being able to walk down the street at night without getting mugged.

    b. Knowing if you need some help someone will be there to help you.

    c. Having some coin in the bank to enjoy yourself a little.


    Dirk Poulsen

    P.S. (for Jesse) Bravo on keeping your free WordPress Software up to date. Looking forward to the 2.9 version around Christmas.

  11. says:

    1. Consider it left 🙂
    2. Holy smokes, I haven’t seen a connection yet that was over 4000. Being as close as you are to the main line it should be around $3000
    3. I offer Video,Voice and Data. I’ll give you a call with some details.
    4. I agree. Thats the way I do business, If my guys promise something I stick to it, even if it hurts.
    5. Yep, it’s all about price, not what benefits the city.
    6. Quality of life to me is a High Speed Internet connection 🙂 I guess I will concede though a. b. c. rank right up there.


  12. Dirk Poulsen says:


    It’s Aug 1 2010. Finally saved up some money to pay for the Utopia connection. I called and left a voice message as no one answered the phone.

    It has been almost a month and no one has returned a phone call. I heard that about 3 or 4 weeks ago Utopia asked Brigham City for more money.

    I don’t know the details but it seems it has turned out exactly like I thought it would from the beginning.

    Qwests service has been horrible and they fail to respond to my requests.

    It looks like Comcast is going to be collecting money from me if they can actually provide service to me as obviously no one else can.

    Just Living the dream…..

    Dirk Poulsen

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