I just spoke with someone who’s considering getting UTOPIA installed in Orem (yes, the salespeople are apparently out in force) and got some details about what to expect on install costs under the UIA model. The cost of installation is $3,000 which is available to both new and current subscribers. If you pay up-front, you get a $250 discount and it will drop the monthly cost somewhere in the $25 range. There are also options to finance the install over either a 10-year or 20-year period. The 10-year period requires $300 up-front and about $30 per month whereas the 20-year period is no up-front cost and around $25 per month.
The real trick with the install costs is to do a quick run-down of what you’ll be paying in the long term. Assuming a savings of $25 per month, the up-front payment for installation will pay itself back in just over nine years. Under all plans, the cost of installation will eventually go away, but Qwest and Comcast will still be charging you for that “free” installation. Odds are pretty good you’ll be subscribed to Internet service for the next two decades (and if you don’t think you will be, why are you reading this?) and there are multiple choices for service if for some reason one of the providers cheese you off, so I don’t think there should be a lot of concern about not using the infrastructure you paid for.
If you live in a UTOPIA member city and want service, make it easy on the sales guys and let them know ahead of time that you’re interested.