Remember the rumblings about UTOPIA’s upcoming announcement last week? Well, it’s here, and its’ huge. Starting today, seven providers will be offering gigabit service for as low as $64.95/mo. If you’ve already paid off the connection fee, this makes it the same or less than Google Fiber in Provo on six of them. Here’s the full price list:
Of note is that UTOPIA has added another provider, WebWave. They’ve been using UTOPIA for backhaul to wireless towers in Davis County since May and are now going to be a full-fledged ISP on the network. With nine total providers to choose from, UTOPIA’s offering more competition for your business than ever.
If you’re content on the lower-priced tiers, SumoFiber and XMission have already switched all customers to 100Mbps. Are you planning to pony up a little more for 10x the speed? I know I would.
If you’re using XMission on UTOPIA, you probably noticed a nice little bonus last night: all 50Mbps customers got a bump up to the full 100Mbps for no extra charge. There’s a few people left to be switched, but it should be done within a couple of days, tops.
One thing to note is that if you aren’t seeing those speeds, you may need to upgrade your router. Most routers, even newer ones, don’t include a 1Gbps WAN port which often serves as a bottleneck. Older 802.11 a/b/g routers also create choke points on the wireless side. All said, that’s a pretty nice problem to have, isn’t it?
Today UTOPIA announced that they will be offering 1Gbps connections to every home they pass. Word on the street is that getting a connection that’s faster than your hard drive (!) should run in the neighborhood of $330-ish per month if you’re leasing the connection. Right now, only a handful of providers in the country offer such blistering speeds to residential customers.
Some other fun facts from the media day:
- UTOPIA’s highest bandwidth customer consumes 20Gbps worth.
- Centerville is completely built out. If you live in Centerville, you can get service right now. About 500 residents have already chosen to do so, just over 10% of total households.
- Homes with multiple set-top boxes will have the greatest need for 1Gbps connections. Currently, 4-5 of them can saturate a 100Mbps connection.
- You could, in theory, get 10Gbps at your home, but UTOPIA isn’t all that comfortable leaving $10K worth of electronics sitting in your house.
You can check out pictures of the event on Google+ or Facebook.
Here’s UTOPIA’s full press release: Continue reading
In a huge move, UTOPIA has just announced that national satellite provider DISH Network is now a provider on the network. Scoring an A-list provider in the telecom space is a major coup and could very well prompt other established operators to sign up as providers. Packages through DISH will include Blockbuster streaming and their own brand of TV Everywhere, Sling, that will allow you to watch programs on your smartphone or tablet.
See below for the full press release. Continue reading
SB112, the bill that would give cable companies a large tax advantage in the state of Utah, died on the Senate floor today in a 12-16 vote. While this doesn’t guarantee that a modified version of the bill won’t come back up for discussion, it seem less likely as the $7M price tag was a bit too much for the Senate to swallow. I think we can safely consider this one dead and buried for this session.
UTOPIA has added a new residential provider to the network via existing commercial provider 1Wire. SumoFiber will be offering 50M/50M, 100M/100M, and 1G/1G Internet and unlimited phone. Given the prices, I assume they are before the UIA costs are added in, but it’s still pretty competitive.
The good news about this addition is that it’s coming from a company with a performance record. UTOPIA has increased standards significantly for new and existing providers to try and prevent the kinds of problems we saw with Mstar and their resulting trail of wreckage. If anyone signs up for service, let us know how they do.
(Thanks to reader David for pointing out the addition.)
I’ve had it confirmed that Infowest, currently a commercial provider, will be participating on UTOPIA as a residential provider as part of the new UIA expansion push. Given that Prime Time, Connected Lyfe, and Fuzecore have all had to bow out for one reason or another, it’s good to know that there will be more options for residential customers who join the network in the future. I’m pretty sure they’ll offer voice and data, but no word on video options.
If you have any experience with Infowest, leave it in the comments.
After many, many months of inaction, UTOPIA is finally starting to move some more fiber into the ground starting with Centerville. This is the start of wiring up anchor institutions using the federal broadband grants, money that should touch most member cities. It won’t get the fiber all the way to your house, but it will wire schools, hospitals, libraries, and other government buildings which will make hooking up neighborhoods much easier and cheaper.
So what do you need to do to get service when it rolls by near you? Go to UTOPIA’s website and register your interest. They will be using those registrations to identify places to market to. If your city is part of the UIA, you’ll be able to get the install cost rolled into your monthly fees. If your city is not part of the UIA or is not a UTOPIA member city, you need to go talk to your city council to get that fixed.
One of the long-standing complaints with UTOPIA has been a lack of data and, to be honest, it’s a fair criticism (and one I share). At the top of the list is trying to figure out just where the heck service is actually available. Thanks to the Utah Broadband Project, we now know. Just select UTOPIA from the list of providers and you’ll know which census blocks the service is actually available on. Naturally, it doesn’t mean that every house has an existing connection, but it gives you a much better idea than just “somewhere in the city”.
Yeah, I know, you’ve heard it before. This time, though, UTOPIA has a sack full of federal dollars to financing building out the middle-mile infrastructure in Centerville. Does this mean service in your neighborhood? Not entirely. The construction will get as far as the substations in the city, but getting it into your house means getting enough of your interested neighbors to sign up for service via the new UIA plan. Jog on over to UTOPIA’s interest form and get your name on the list to be notified if/when they’re ready to build out your neighborhood.
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