Provo's Decision Tonight

Tonight, Provo’s Municipal Council will likely make a decision on the proposal from Veracity to float part of the bond payment for upwards of 10 years. I’m not going to delude myself or any of you: the meeting and vote is mere formality. The Council will, amidst some grumbling, approve the proposal. Steve Turley will vote against it knowing it will pass so if something goes wrong later, he can wash his hands of any responsibility. (Prudent politics, Steve, but how about owning something for a change?) Given the options that have been presented by the mayor, I don’t know that the municipal council is being given much of a choice.

Yes, there are options. Provo could take the network back with many different avenues for running it differently. That said, there exists no political willpower or stomach for doing so. If Provo doesn’t have its heart into running the network, it will be at least as badly mismanaged as it was before if not worse. They’re still in “run and hide” mode, willing to accept any moderately reasonable deal to keep the thing away from the city.

Several companies have expressed to me an interest in participating in an RFP process for the network. Provided that such an RFP process leaves enough time for companies to submit applications and the city to review them before having to make a “do or die” decision regarding Broadweave, it should be encouraged and acted upon to make sure that the Council is truly evaluating all of the possibilities before them. There’s nothing to lose by asking for more options.

Even with options other than approving the sale, I don’t think the council is going to consider them. Veracity has thrown Provo a decent pitch with a decent chance of success and this Council has already shown a tendency to vote with the mayor. (Despite their recent pushback, I doubt there will be any serious resistance.) Unless another party comes along with a better concrete proposal, it would appear that the best choice is what the council was going to do anyway. How’s that for the world’s most tepid and lame endorsement?

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2 Responses to Provo's Decision Tonight

  1. Ben Saunders says:

    I agree Jesse that it would take some real courage to make the hard decision to say no to Veracity. Difficult or not it should be done. Veracity’s “decent pitch” is all based on air. They have no benchmarks, real commitments, or contractual enforcements to meet. There is no penalty for failure to make this succeed. In fact, they have some incentive to fail since based upon history, they could get more concessions or even buy the network at a fire sale price. You can bet they will risk nothing. When Veracity joined iProvo as a full-share service provider they promised to bring their Qwest customers and student housing customers to iProvo. A real commitment to do this would have resulted in a viable business plan for iProvo. Veracity instead withdrew their residential offering and cannabalized the student housing and commercial customers at a great cost to iProvo. They knew fully well that their strategy would result in an iProvo failure. A similsr thing happened when they backed out of the Broadweave deal when they again demonstrated no real commitment. One can only guess what is really behind the Veracity curtain but you can rest assured that there is much more there than what is being discussed. How many times does Provo need to get burnt by Veracity before they get it?
    I am hoping there are some surprises for the council and Veracity this evening.

  2. Capt. Video says:

    So good points Ben!

    I don’t agree with everything but you do make some good points.

    I think it important that the candidates for Mayor NOT be allowed to dodge this issue.

    I would LOVE to hear from each of them exactly how they would have voted on this issue. NOT what they would or would not have done years ago when iProvo started, but EXACTLY what they would DO NOW!

    The same for city council candidates.

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