As more details about Provo's pending sale of iProvo to Broadweave surface, it becomes more and more obvious that this is a bum deal for the city.
Broadweave isn't exactly buying the network. Instead, they are assuming the bond payments from the city. The original bond, however, will remain with the city. This means that Provo can only make the bond payments if Broadweave makes their payments to the city. If Broadweave goes under, the city is still on the hook.
So how financially viable is Broadweave? Rumor has it they aren't turning a profit on their existing infrastructure in Lehi and St. George, something that should be grave cause for concern. We should also be worried that they are attempting to take over a network many times the size of what they currently manage. Time and time again, a smaller operation taking over a larger one ends up being a disaster since they can't cope with such rapid growth.
We may also see a large loss of customers. As the contracts with MSTAR and Veracity expire, those customers will be forced to switch to Broadweave, a company that has data speeds of 10Mbps/1Mbps instead of iProvo's current 15Mbps/15Mbps. Such a drop in speed with what is presumably a equal or higher price will cause massive attrition back to incumbent carriers who offer the same pricing and service levels. And Nuvont customers? Expect to get an immediate boot since that company doesn't have a contract in place.
What we're looking at is a move back to what iProvo was like under HomeNet: one retailer to rule the network that hasn't figured out how to make money either. While the mayor, municipal council and UTA are drunk on the euphoria of washing their hands of iProvo, this is nothing more than punting the responsibility to another party and setting themselves up for massive failure in a couple of years. Shame on them all for managing this city asset in such an irresponsible manner, "selling" it for much less than it cost to build and refusing to do the grunt work necessary to make it succeed. I hope the good citizens of Provo will remember this betrayal at the ballot box in 2009.