In a flashback of the old model, UTOPIA is offering up a new connection option very similar to the leasing option they started with. Customers who have the fiber in front of their homes can opt to enter into a 2-year agreement at $30/mo to cover the cost of installation. At the expiration of the two-year period, they can either go month-to-month or choose to re-up the contract. The upside is that there’s a shorter commitment term, but the downside is that the infrastructure charge won’t go away like it does when you buy it out. Customers who opted to purchase the connection can switch to the leased model and have their down payment applied towards the monthly charges.
To be honest, I don’t see that this is much of an advantage for users since you’re not saving any money and will end up paying in perpetuity for the connection. Since it’s only available to areas where the fiber is already on the curb, it also won’t do anything to get the network extended into your neighborhood either. It could, however, be a good way to sign up fence-sitters in existing service areas.
What do you think? Would you go for the short-term lease or buy out the connection?
UPDATE: Just to clarify, the conversion of a down payment on the connection into lease payments is only if you haven’t purchased the connection outright. If you’ve already bought the connection or have payments going towards doing so, this will still continue and you’ll still own the line. The line ownership option isn’t going anywhere.