Online talk radio show CouchCast had Steve Christensen on as a guest to discuss the sale of iProvo. Go ahead and give the show a listen.
A few observations:
- Steve Christensen said himself on the show that Broadweave has been around since 2003, yet this conflicts with his statements to the Provo Municipal Council and the data found on Broadweave's own website. I'm glad that he's finally telling the truth about Broadweave's age, but why lie in the first place when it can be easily debunked?
- Steve played the blame game regarding the phone problems again, saying that the network technology is the problem. (I can only assume he's blaming the portals.) However, he's also blamed the existing providers since they outsource their phone operations and don't own their own phone switches. Which is it? I haven't heard from any UTOPIA customers that report the same voice issues that iProvo seems to have, so I'm not betting any money on the providers as the issue. If it is the portals, why not go with a cheaper TA instead of replacing the entire portal? Sure, it makes sense to switch to another portal for future installations, but it makes little sense to do a wholesale replacement of existing equipment for all customers.
- A central reason why telecommunications sucks so bad is that we've been pumping state and federal dollars into propping up incumbent phone carriers like Qwest while enforcing very few requirements that serve the public interest. A key point of municipal broadband is that if we're going to require public money to provide universal access to telecommunications, we should start demanding public ownership of the infrastructure as well. Steve Christensen correctly points out that public money is required to make it work, but incorrectly assumes that we have to continue this pattern of what Frank Staheli calls the "butt kiss" market to make it happen. It's corporate welfare at its best, insisting that a public good be subject entirely to private ownership but with plenty of public funds.
I've yet to find anything about this deal that doesn't instill a lack of trust and undermine confidence in Broadweave's ability to execute and straight-talk.