Press Release: UTOPIA supports DISH Network’s Efforts to Provide Consumer Choice


Media Contacts:

Robyn Geist 801-364-0088 ext. 106 or 801-680-1135

Brian Wilkinson 801-364-0088 ext. 102 or 801-673-5615



UTOPIA Supports DISH Network’s Efforts to Provide Consumer Choice


DISH Network faces lawsuit from TV networks over its newest technology:

a user-enabled commercial skipping feature called AutoHop


Salt Lake City (June 1, 2012) – UTOPIA, the open-access fiber-optic network formed by 16 Utah cities to provide critical advanced communications infrastructure to their residents, is announcing strong support for one of its newest services providers, DISH Network, and its efforts to promote consumer choice in the face of a lawsuit from three of the major television networks over DISH’s ad-skipping AutoHop technology.

“Among one of the many reasons we partnered with DISH Network as a service provider on the UTOPIA network is because they are at the forefront of providing unique entertainment options and more choice to consumers,” said Todd Marriott, Executive Director of UTOPIA. “DISH Network recognizes that consumers desire the options to be able to view the content they want, when they want it, and, most importantly, how they want it, particularly when they have already paid for it. Competition and consumer choice were fundamental reasons UTOPIA was formed as an open access network”

DISH’s AutoHop technology allows its customers to enable a feature that automatically skips over commercials in primetime TV programming from the major networks that has been recorded on consumers’ DVRs. It does not skip over ads when subscribers are watching the programming live.

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The Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency, more commonly known as UTOPIA, consists of a group of 16 Utah cities that joined together to form a state-of-the-art fiber-optic network and provide critical advanced communications infrastructure to their residents. The network offers fiber-to-the-premises technology allowing for faster services that are uninterrupted by copper wiring or shared connections with neighbors. Its open access model fosters competition among private sector service providers who offer Internet, ubee routers, television, telephone and other services, giving customers the freedom to choose their own service providers, the best prices and the best service.

For more information on UTOPIA including member cities and business and residential service providers, visit

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5 Responses to Press Release: UTOPIA supports DISH Network’s Efforts to Provide Consumer Choice

  1. charlesH says:

    Why is Utopia commenting on this litigation? What is the benefit?

    I hope they don’t get added to the lawsuit.

    Seems ill advised to me.

    • Jesse says:

      DISH is one of their providers and this is a good thing for video-viewing consumers. It’s not uncommon for business partners to express support for each other in these matters. (And UTOPIA isn’t anywhere near the current commercial-skipping lawsuit. It’s baseless to speculate that they’d be drawn in.)

  2. Ronald D. Hunt says:

    Anyone can file a brief with the court on cases they are reviewing, not uncommon at all. And filing a brief with the court does not attach any liability to the filer.

  3. rose says:

    That is awesome that Utopia is behind Dish on this new feature. Auto Hop is a nice thing to have and since Dish is giving their customers a choice to use it, I cannot see a problem with it. You cannot use this feature on live TV and it only compliments the PrimeTime Anytime recordings. After my boss at Dish told me about the feature, I have been using it and loving it. I like to watch some of my PrimeTime Anytime shows the next day before I have to go to work, and with Auto hop, I can still do that but now I have an extra 20 minutes to spare before heading out. Dish is making it a little bit easier for their customers who choose to use it to fast-forward through commercials.

  4. Carli Smith says:

    Why don’t CBS, FOX, and NBC execs want consumers to enjoy commercial-free TV? It’s what we want! I’m a customer and employee of Dish, and I think Auto Hop is great because you can easily watch commercial-free TV. A well-known consumer advocacy group, Public Knowledge, agrees that people should have the right to control how they watch TV. They’re taking a stand for consumers by creating a petition that tells CBS, FOX, and NBC media to keep their hands out of your living room and DVR. Sign their petition to keep control of how you watch TV

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