The First Salvo: My Letter to Mayor Corroon and the County Council

This is the first round of letters to County Mayor Peter Corroon and members of the County Council to urge them to put pressure on state lawmakers to change secion 10-18-105 of the Municipal Cable Television and Public Telecommunications Services Act. Feel free to copy/paste and mail your own letter. The more of us they hear from, the better!

Dear Mayor Corroon,

As an elected official, I’m sure you are familiar with UTOPIA, Utah’s municipal broadband agency. I’m sure you’re also familiar with the benefits of such a system including lower service prices, faster Internet speeds, and increased competition for Internet, telephone, and cable television services. Since UTOPIA was formed, the incumbent carriers such as Qwest and Comcast have been forced to expand and enhance their services in order to better compete. The UTOPIA project has provided great benefits to those it serves as well as putting Utah into the national technology news media.

Unfortunately, over 180,000 of your constituents cannot participate in this project. It’s not because of resistance from their city council, rejecting a tax proposal on their ballot, or even lawsuits from one of the incumbent telephone or cable companies. No, it is because the Municipal Cable Television and Public Telecommunications Services Act, the bill that authorizes municipal fiber networks such as UTOPIA, expressly forbids unincorporated areas of any county from participation under Section 10-18-105.

As Salt Lake County continues to grow, more and more people will not have the choice to pursue UTOPIA access and will be locked into inferior service at higher prices by being forced to choose between Qwest and Comcast for their communications needs. I would personally be able to save over $40 per month by switching my Internet and cable television services to a UTOPIA provider while receiving a broadband connection over three times as fast as what I current enjoy. Because I live in White City, I’m one of the 180,000 who cannot even choose to have this service become available.

I urge you to pursue this matter with our state legislators to let them know that the current law does not best serve your constituents. While the voice of the voters may be strong, the voice of other elected officials is stronger. I appreciate your consideration in this matter.


Jesse Harris

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