I can’t say this is unexpected. UTOPIA has filed a lawsuit against RUS for failing to live up to their contractual obligations under the loan taken out several years ago. The delay in reimbursement caused a lot of strain on UTOPIA vendors, delayed network deployment, and left UTOPIA on the hook for millions of dollars in authorized but unreimbursed expenditures. I’m still waiting for a copy of the court filing so I can see their specific claims, but I would bet that they’ve got a pretty solid case and are asking for a pretty hefty amount in punitive and actual damages.

Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to UTOPIA Sues RUS

  1. Alex G says:

    Who or what is RUS?

    • Jesse says:

      RUS is the USDA’s Rural Utility Service, a department that provides loans for rural broadband deployment. Their model is to approve the loan generally, authorize specific plan phases, and then provide reimbursement. The suit is because RUS failed to provide reimbursement on authorized expenditures and rescinded the loan with no notice or reason given.

  2. Ronald D. Hunt says:

    About time, RUS really caused UTOPIA a lot of trouble.

  3. Alvar says:

    The real problem is and was Utopia’s failed concept…Their Model: Was to build the fiber pipe to the customer and charge folks like COM**** to transmit their content over it. Well most of these Commercail Providers said no thanks (they prefer to control all aspect of their business over their own lines) and Utopia ended up with a system that couldn’t support itself…the government money will or would have only delayed the inevitable…Utopia is a failed concept from its inception, and will collapse under its own weight!

    • Jesse says:

      Their current projections put them at paying down the bond from revenues within 5 years. They are currently 10% over target for this year. Care to revise your predictions?

    • Jason Heppler says:

      Utopia is a vision shared by community members and small business owners across the state to position our communities as the tech leaders in the U.S.A. Yes, it requires an investment to develop a Fiber network; but the community members (personal and business) will pay back the investment over time. And we, as a community, will reep dividends on the investment now and in the future.

      Comparing Utopia to traditional internet providers is an apples to oranges comparison. Fiber to homes and businesses so much faster compared to the services available on the providers we have access to outside of Utopia that there simply isn’t a direct comparison to be found.

      Qwest and Comcast don’t have plans to provide Fiber to homes and businesses in our communities on a large scale or at marketable prices and they don’t have any technology on the horizon to provide truly high speed symmetric (up and down) internet connectivity to our communities.

      I understand there is a vocal minority that don’t utilize Utopia and don’t anticipate a need for Utopia in their personal and business lives. That is fine and true of all new technologies, but impeding progress for those of us who live in member cities and own local businesses will not result in a positive outcome for the community.

      Utopia doesn’t need neigh sayers; they need continued support to enable more growth, competition and value on open networks that will increasingly drive economic growth in our communities.

      Please try to take an objective look at Utopia and the investment made to date compared with other municipal services with a historical perspective. And think critically about the need now and in the future for truly high speed internet access in communication, education, medicine, entertainment, small and large businesses, etc.

      Without a positive outlook the drive and vision to improve as a community is hindered. We want Utah to be a leader in technology, a leader in business and a leader in progress.

      Choose the provider with the best solution for yourself. But I strongly believe that if you study and reflect on the costs of Utopia compared to the benefits Utopia affords our businesses and citizens you will find that supporting Utopia is supporting the future of our communities.

      Where we see inefficiencies and room for improvement, lets get involved and help guide Utopia to but successful and available for everyone. With Utopia and other providers in our communities everyone can benefit directly and indirectly from the availablity and use of high speed internet access.

      Support Utopia, support your neighbors who are choosing Utopia, support innovation and encourage Utopia and the member communities to continue to grow. The investment is really very small compared to the other infrastructure projects that have fueled our city and state growth over the past 100 years and the return on investment we will see from Utopia will eclipse similar sized community funded projects.

    • Actually …the REAL problem is too many city officials that are actually vested into cable and WAY OUTDATED DSL transmission and do not understand the vunerabilities within those technologies.

      Cable is still only a theory as it relies HEAVILY on feedback to provide its signal. This in itself is an immpossibility for CONSTANT Tx as feedback is ‘unpredicatable in nature’, and why the Amred Forces, YEARS AGO, went to fiber. Not only for its constant but its securability per node. I, myself, forced TWC to re-imburse me a full half years fees (and could have gotten more) for failed service agreement, and the sad part is EVERY CUSTOMER they have not only has this right but ability.

      Honestly, I believe a federal investigation would reveal a purposeful negligence on the part of RUS, or at least some of its shareholding board members. As well as dislodging certain city/county/state officials (especially in Utah) for inteferring with private business models; something they are constantly insisting Utopia is guilty of!

  4. Ronald D. Hunt says:

    Alvar, their are 2-3 different video providers currently on Utopia, 4-5 different telephone service providers, around a dozen internet providers. Utopia also runs backhaul services, a local provider interchange, wireless connections in some places, has over 10,000 customers, etc.

    I am in Layton, and personally I can’t hardly wait to get service. The 80% uptime benchmark that Qwest/CenturyLink hits is a joke, my 20meg service usually runs at around 14meg because of the bad line quality in the area. Dumping Qwest will be wonderful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *