In an unsurprising move, Veracity Networks will transfer ownership of the iProvo network back to the city of Provo as it has been unable to generate enough revenue to make the purchase feasible. Provo has already instituted a monthly utility charge to all residents and businesses in the city to pay for the current debt load on the network. Veracity will continue to operate the network under a 14-month lease agreement, paying Provo $95,000 per month plus a cut of revenue from future subscribers. Interestingly, all customer revenues are going into an escrow account that will pay the city before Veracity gets its share and the city will be responsible for all network infrastructure costs including installations.
The agreement has been framed as a chance for Provo to figure out what it wants to do, and there doesn’t appear to be anything ruled out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see new providers added to the network, or for the city to seek out new partnerships, either with another private company or a public entity like UTOPIA. The final vote will be on March 20.