Last night, Provo Mayor John Curtis gave an update on iProvo and the city’s continuing involvement with the network and it looks like the city finally has an executive who wants to face facts. The reality of iProvo (or more accurately, the network sold to Veracity) is that revenues still don’t cover bond payments and aren’t likely to do so for quite some time. Veracity has already told me as much and that the single-family home business, which is both difficult and slow to grow, is the only thing left. It’ll probably be a while before revenues can cover the bond, and the payments will have to be cross-subsidized. The question, though, is who will do it.
Veracity has already received a break on payments, a break that runs out in just a few months. I’m confident that they can and will (but more importantly, should) continue to cross-subsidize Provo operations from other divisions of the company. Mayor Curtis’ remarks, though, seem to indicate an expectation that the city generally will have to continue to pick up part of the bond payments. I wouldn’t have much of a problem with this if Provo were continuing to operate the network with a wholesale open-access model, but effectively subsidizing a private company gives me serious pause.
I believe that Veracity is a good company and that they’re not out to pull a fast one on anybody. That said, I wouldn’t blame them for negotiating whatever they can get from the city. It’s the same as Google: “don’t be evil” doesn’t mean you should give up your strong negotiating position out of the goodness of your heart. And right now, Veracity is holding all the cards.
Read the articles from the Daily Herald and Salt Lake Tribune for more.
Many of us have repeatedly warned of this outcome and have been thouroghly berated for our comments, but here we are with a failed Broadweave, on-going subsidies for the foreseeable future, and a devalued, obsolete network. I’ve got to say “I told you so”, many times over the years.
I totally agree that the on-going subsidy is wrong and unfair to the competitors of iProvo/Broadweave/Veracity. I often wonder when Provo will get brave enough to try something new. They have had the same players making the same wrong decisions for the life of the iProvo project. I really believe its time to open this up to other possibilities. I challenge them to get fresh leadership and a new, open approach to perhaps leave some of the stench behind and turn this around. Believe me, it could happen. Open the door to new options. Provo, you don’t know as much as you think you.