Press Release: UTOPIA Launches New Citizens Advisory Network


UTOPIA Executive Director Todd Marriott has announced the formation of the UTOPIA Citizens Advisory Network (U-CAN) to help provide feedback from the public on the direction UTOPIA is going. Jesse Harris, a local activist who runs, has been selected to chair the new group. Harris has spent significant time and effort following developments related to UTOPIA since September of 2006. “Our goal is to help spread the word about UTOPIA and provide ideas on how the network can improve,” he said. He continued: “I’m very excited to bring the community of municipal telecommunications supporters together so that we can help make this network succeed.”

U-CAN plans to hold its first meeting on Saturday June 28 from noon until 1:30PM at the Ruth Vine Tyler Library, 8041 S Wood Street in Midvale. A representative from UTOPIA will be on hand to answer questions from meeting attendees. Regular monthly meetings will be scheduled across the Wasatch Front to give residents of all member cities an equal chance to participate.

About UTOPIA: UTOPIA is a consortium of 16 Utah cities that provides a next-generation fiber optic network for providers of telecommunications services and provides some of the fastest Internet speeds in the nation. It promotes a competitive marketplace by allowing smaller private companies to lease the network and provide services to residents within its service area and is open to allowing new providers and services on the network.

About Jesse Harris: Mr. Harris is an IT professional from White City Township and activist for municipal fiber optic networks. He has been blogging about municipal fiber optic projects and telecommunications at since September of 2006. He is a recognized authority on municipal telecommunications projects in Utah and has been interviewed about UTOPIA and iProvo by the Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, Salt Lake City Weekly and Daily Herald. 

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8 Responses to Press Release: UTOPIA Launches New Citizens Advisory Network

  1. luminous says:

    congrats =)

  2. Jarrod says:

    Congrats – I hope you have success in influencing UTOPIA’s direction for the positive.

  3. Jason says:

    That is great news. I hope this advisory board is helpful to the UTOPIA project and as a side benefit that this can be a way for UTOPIA to disseminate accurate information to the citizens about how UTOPIA is truly progressing (including difficulties, successes and tactical decisions being made) rather than all the FUD we often see in the papers.

    I know the papers know you Jesse, now make sure that they know other members of the committee and know what your new semi-official relationship with UTOPIA is so they know where they can turn to get accurate information and counter-points to Qwest’s and other ISP’s smear campaign against UTOPIA.

    Brilliant move UTOPIA!

  4. Jason says:

    *Edit: “semi-official relationship” may be a poor choice of words, I was thinking semi-official employee or something… an official relationship it in fact is, yay!

  5. u235sentinel says:


    Should be interesting to see how things turn out. I’m rooting for you 🙂

    BTW, email from Qwest this last week. Seems they are now advertising fiber to the home in the Salt Lake Valley. Of course I couldn’t get any details about where it’s installed and areas they are planning to install in the near future.

    Still, now that the lawsuits have ended against Utopia, the timing is amazing!

  6. John says:

    Congratulations Jesse!

  7. Capt. Video says:

    Congratulations Jesse!

  8. I am very excited to see this moving along.
    I trully wish you best of luck in all you do w/ UTOPIA.

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