The Now-Missing Broadweave Post

Yes, it’s gone. The short version is that after feedback and some careful consideration, I determined it was boneheaded to have even posted the full letter in the first place. Instead, I’ll summarize the key allegations and rumors from the tipster who sent it to me:

  • Lax physical and logical security
  • Poor customer service
  • Preferential treatment of VIPs such as city council members
  • No accurate record of which customers to bill and multiple changes of the billing system
  • Little oversight from the corporate office
  • Sexual harassment and hostile working environment

A current Broadweave employee wrote that most of the allegations were either untrue or half-truths. Given their explosive nature, the letters themselves shouldn’t have even gone up in the first place. It was dumb on my part and I should have just summarized the key points.

The only one that I have any kind of confirmation on is the security. I’ve had at least three sources confirm that there was a significant theft of long-distance services (6-figure, one of them says). I initially thought it was just bad luck, but a lack of appropriate security would make me reconsider that. Everything else? That’s anyone’s guess.

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28 Responses to The Now-Missing Broadweave Post

  1. Ben Saunders says:

    Shame on you Jesse! That posting is essential information for the People of Provo. They stand to loose the $40 MILLION! It is rare that you get a candid, unspun look inside of this mess. Yea naming names is dangerous, you could just black them out CIA style. I’m sorry they got to you…
    If anyone has a copy please send it to me since I believe people need to see this.

  2. Jesse says:

    Ben: Given the highly personal nature of the accusations and the turmoil it would likely cause within the company, I ended up not feeling good about posting the entire letter when I got up this morning. Capt. Video may have been onto something when he said that the observers can end up becoming participants.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I want to know how long this WAS posted on your website. please email the response to

  4. Really? says:

    It’s only libel if it is not true, otherwise you would be just fine, especially that you did not write it. You are just giving this disaster the transparency that it needs and deserves. As far as the council putting the mayor on the Broadweave board; is this not just like putting the fox in charge of the hen house?

    Maybe I should have posted the board of directors comment in the other post but I hate coming up with a new name and email address each time I comment.

  5. Matt says:

    I am soooooo glad I am out of the ISP business. Sounds like a soap opera. Hey that’s a good idea, we should write a soap opera about this. Anyone down?

  6. SirTomster says:

    Matt. The problem is the only people get laid are all old farts. Not a good soap opera that way. eww bad images!

    Of course you could spin how all the worker bees are getting screwed and call that sexual tension 🙂

    And dang missed the post.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, i would agree with that. but, it would be such a bad soap opera that i don’t think it would be on air for long

  8. Matt says:

    Call it what you will we all knew Mayor Billings dropped the ball on this whole project a long time ago, you talk about poor customer service. Has this changed at all even since the first subscriber (HomeNet) ? I don’t think so… poor customer service, no planning, poor engineering, no money, no leader did I mention no planninn?, willing to take responsibility, NO PLANNING! are just some of the things iProvo has had since the beginning. This is really no different since iProvo started. Someone with “Nothing to Lose” i guess, finally has the balls to publish some of the truths about this. Yes, he may be mentally unstable but I think he is helping more than he is hurting.

    I have heard rumors that some of the news paper companies wont even touch this issue anymore. Hear is a heading for you, “Mayor Billings: Mafia?

  9. Anonymous says:

    50% truth is not enough in my book

  10. Ben Saunders says:

    Of course, I would bet that Capt. Video would be the one to talk you out of posting this. He has his own agenda. He works for Kevin Garlick behind the scenes.

    One of the greatest journalists and exposers of truth was Benjamin Franklin. I wonder if he would been scared off by the powers that be at the time?

    The truth will prevail, it is only time.

  11. Matt says:

    What evidence is there that it is only 50% true?

    What evidence is there that is is 100% true?

    None, that I have seen. Please provide me with some evidence to contradict the accusations?

  12. Jesse says:

    The Capt. and I haven’t spoken about this. I made the decision to pull it on my own.

  13. Capt. Video says:

    I did not see the post, but commented recently about the negative effect my posts could have and someone taking my posts and going much too far (in my opinion).

    Addressing Jesse’s comments one by one:

    Security Problems: What company has not had them, I heard on last nights news that the Pentagon just had a major security problem. Even the best companies can have them, bad companies don’t fix them once found. I doubt that took place with Broadweave?

    Poor customer service: I have heard that charge about all providers on iProvo at one time or another, and most on UTOPIA. Given the newness of the operation and the complaint is about the transition period I would let the customers decide that. I believe that Broadweave has more customers than when they took over so it might not be as bad as claimed?

    VIP Treatment: …and the problem with that is? I know of NO company that does not have VIP’s that receive kid glove treatment. It happened at iProvo, I’m sure it happens at UTOPIA and all other companies. It’s actually called “good business”. All customers should be treated well, but some are treated more well than others?

    Customer Bill issues: I really can’t comment much on this, but I will again point to the transition period?

    Little oversight from Corporate: Some managers consider that a plus. Allowing the prople on the ground, on the front lines to make decisions and asking corporate for help when it’s needed. I wish iProvo had been run like that. A good manager wants some freedom and not having everything decided by “corporate”.

    Sexual Harassment: It there are problems here that are not addressed by the company there are well established means of addressing these issues. I would bet Broadweave addressed any issues if they had them.

    Provo is well protected by the agreement which included financial guarantees. Airing dirty laundry or claims from disgruntled employees (or former employees) is not what Provo needs to protect it. Provo’s agreement includes reporting requirements from Broadweave on subscribers, etc.

    I expect Provo is using those reports, their seat on the Broadweave board and sources like that, more than rumor, innuendo and reports from disgruntled former employees to protect their investment.

  14. so? says:

    Matt, I think you nailed it when you said, “Someone with “Nothing to Lose” i guess, finally has the balls to publish some of the truths about this. Yes, he may be mentally unstable but I think he is helping more than he is hurting.” I agree with you. We can’t prove or disprove any of it. But we should be responsible enough to observe and choose wisely when it comes to our tax dollars. They for sure put the fox in charge of the hen house. And Jesse, you did fine. I am surprised to see someone wants your original copies and information on this sent to Sounds like it made them a bit nervous.

  15. Ben Saunders says:

    It is telling that the supposed Broadweave poster is asking how long it was posted and says nothing about it being true or not. I have confirmation from an independent source on the majority of the claims, so if there are any doubters, you should think again.
    That would be you Capt Video. Here you did not even see the post and you weigh in with a huge rebuttal. The doc has been widely distributed and you will get your chance.

    The doc confirms all of our worst fears about Broadweave and then then some. When they go down in flames, will you still standing there waving their flag?

  16. Capt. Video says:

    I have read the original post.

    I find in more soap opera and office water-cooler stuff…lots of overactive hormones in a group of young employees.

    I see nothing that good on site management can not fix quickly.

    I see nothing of any depth that says to me these problems cannot be addressed and Broadweave be successful.

    I have never believed the path to success for these fiber networks was an easy one, but I remain firm in my belief that Broadweave is in much better position to be successful than UTOPIA.

    I just don’t see any indication of an problems than cannot quickly be addressed by better on site management.

    My heart goes out to all those who have had their names posted and dragged thru the mud true or false there is more soap opera than business fact here.

    The claim of under supported or trained support is something all iProvo service providers have faced and I’m sure Broadweave will overcome it as others have.

    In point of fact, was it not the job of the original poster to do that training and manage the customer support staff? If they are as bad as reported surely the person tasked with their management and training needs to share some of the blame?

    The exposure of the security problems is clearly made worse by these revelations. Why not get people trying to break-in using simple passwords and log-ins? What is gained, who is helped by that? Why not just point out the security laspes internally or mention that security is lax without the details.

    I don’t have to call Broadweave pretending to be a customer with a problem. I am a customer and have called with a problem. I was satisfied with the polite often helpful responses I received. I found no significant difference between their response and that from Veracity or Mstar when I was customers on their network.

    I feel we had similar problems (minus the uncontrolled hormones) when HomeNet went out of business and we quickly brought in Veracity and Mstar. Confusion over customer lists, etc. All expected “transition” problems.

    I’m just not seeing much in the way of solid business problems that should have Provo City worried to a degree anything like the UTOPIA cities should be worried.

    What am I missing?

    Cut through the soap opera and tell me the serious business problems which are so serious and cannot be fixed by good on site management or other simple fixes?

    As far as going down in flames…Who here believe UTOPIA is in a better business position than Broadweave. I have NEVER heard anyone on this list make that claim or challenge my oft stated claim that Broadweave in more likely to be successful than UTOPIA. Perhaps that $100+ million dollar hole is as deep as I claim?

    Compare that issue to the Broadweave soap opera. Some successful private investors put their own money into Broadweave, try and find someone to do that with UTOPIA.

  17. Capt. Video says:

    I’m sorry I dragged UTOPIA into the previous post. I should have left it at saying the Broadweave Mayor’s letter was mostly soap opera in my opinion and nothing there really for iProvo to be worried about.

    Worries about the network are always warranted, but these fixable operational issues common to transitions and the un-managed raging hormones do not create serious additional danger of the city.

  18. Jesse says:

    I would offer a counterpoint that it would be the manager’s responsibility to handle that provided they are provided the authority to do so. I’ve worked in a few positions where a “manager” was little more than escalation.

    We also don’t know if any of these problems have been addressed internally or not. I would suspect that they were brought up and not addressed. Otherwise why would anyone feel the need to start bringing them to the mayor or other outside parties?

  19. Capt. Video says:

    I fully agree about “managers”. Having been “manager” in many places where I had the authority, responsibility and support to perform my duties and in a place where I was “manager” in title only.

    I suspect the issue was raised to the Mayor and public level at least in PART, due to the termination?

    The real question is…are the issues raised serious business indicators of a company on the brink of failure or just soap opera and normal transition type problems. I believe they are the latter.

    Broadweave should take appropriate action to address issues raised by the letter if they have not already addressed them. Provo City need take no action. The best action Provo citizens could take would be to drop Comcast and Qwest service and sign-up with Broadweave or one of it’s network providers.

    The same action those in UTOPIA areas should take to support that network.

    Support your local network.

  20. Ben Saunders says:

    I see this as more than a soap opera inspired by “over-active hormones”. This is not a healthy organization. The symptoms are clear and Broadweave has some serious issues. As you say, they could be more professional, they could have better security, they could be better managed, they could be profitable… and so on. But they don’t! The fact is Provo selected them as the best of class for service providers willing to take over. In fact they were so good that a public process was not even required. These revelations are just confirming what a poor choice it was.

  21. Matt says:

    I am actually still questioning if Provo selected Broadweave because they were a “best class of service providers willing to take over” or if the deal was set because it benefited mayor Billings personal and career the best. In fact, MSTAR offered to purchase iProvo and was ignored from the get go because mayor Billings has some personal feelings against MSTAR’s former CEO Ben Gould. I believe it was set in stone a long time ago and it had nothing to do with the history of Broadweave as a company, and what they could provide and more to do with Billings crooked deals.

  22. Ben Saunders says:

    I would have to agree Matt. The more I hear about the players on the financial side as well as the Broadweave board, it becomes clear that this a “good ole boys” working with the other “good ole boys” to scratch each other’s back. This sort of inside look into Broadweave operations does confirm how poorly positioned they were to take over. I can only imagine the behind closed doors shenanigans that took place to get this done.

  23. marmy says:

    Well, speaking from a customer who’s caught in the middle of it all, I don’t like any of it one bit. It looks like dishonesty and dirty dealing to me and I’m furious! I have been and will continue to be watching how this plays out very closely. And you can bet I won’t be voting for the Mayor!!

  24. suspicious says:

    As a Provo resident, I advised the city council of the need to complete due diligence on Broadweave before completing the “sale.” In fact, I assembled a worksheet outlining some 50 areas of concern where assessments of Broadweave’s fitness as the network owner should be investigated. This was sent to the city council on May 19, 2008 with the following note attached:

    “Dear Council Members –

    I enjoyed the opportunity to attend the presentations and discussion last Tuesday evening on the proposed sale of the iProvo network to Broadweave. I appreciated being able to hear first hand the questions and concerns you have as you seek to understand the details of the proposed buyout. This is obviously not a simple, nor conventional asset sale, and you are faced with making a very difficult decision.

    Having reviewed the documents and details of the transaction, there appears to me to be a gaping hole where an extensive amount of due diligence needs yet be done on the “fitness” of the proposed buyer. It goes without saying that no creditor would ever think of extending a loan to a buyer without evaluating their credit worthiness. However, as we the residents are to become direct customers to Broadweave, and inasmuch as Provo City is banking on Broadweave’s ability to succeed in order to relieve the city and residents of the bond debt obligations, a due diligence exercise which takes a deep look into the organizational experience and capabilities of the proposed buyer would, likewise, be essential.

    As a Provo resident and an iProvo customer, I am concerned that perhaps this has not been done. Broadweave makes claims of industry experience and promises of service improvements, but are they actually more or less capable than the current providers on the network, or another potential buyer? Are we as customers put at greater risk of poor service because we now have only one fiber-based provider to choose from that we know very little about? Is the city at greater risk of the network failing, resulting in a less valuable asset coming back to the city because the most valuable assets on the network — the customers — have chosen to leave?

    Unfortunately, there appears to be no provision in the current asset purchase agreement which allows the city to conduct a due diligence exercise of Broadweave. I suggest this needs to be addressed before discussions go much further. As important as this sale is to providing relief to city finances, it is equally critical that Provo residents be appropriately served by a well-qualified, experienced buyer and operator.

    As a framework for such an assessment process, I have attached a template that might provide a starting point for a comprehensive FTTH telecommunications provider evaluation.

    Best Regards,


    It is disappointing, in light of these recent and other less public allegations, that my counsel was not heeded. Not that it would have changed the outcome of sale — the mayor was bent from the beginning on forcing the thing through — but perhaps it would have given the council and the community a better insight into Broadweave operations — before it was too late.

  25. Ben Saunders says:


    Thanks for being a resident who cares enough to get involved. Too much of the time, it seems like there is no one in Provo willing to challenge the nonsense that the Mayor comes up with. Broadweave is just one on a list of as many as a hundred foolhardy decisions made by Mayor Billings.

  26. marmy says:


    Great letter. You were right. Too bad no one listens to the citizens.

  27. Mike says:

    I have a question? If Broadweave can’t account for customers, track them, or provide a proper bill, does that make the contract customers sign, null and void? Isn’t Broadweave failing by not providing the services they promised during the signing of said contract? Can’t customers then cancel services and go to Comcast or Qwest?

  28. Jesse says:

    Most service contracts include an exit clause for material breach of contract. Presuming that customers aren’t month-to-month, it should be easy for them to switch to another provider without penalty.

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