iProvo Doubles Subscribers

iProvo, Provo's version of UTOPIA, has managed to double subscribers in just one year. This bodes well for the municipal fiber project as it puts the finishing touches on wiring up every home and business in the town. They now report 7,700 subscribers, a large chunk of the residents of the city. The city anticipates reaching the break-even point on their project in less than a year, meaning profitability within about three years after construction started, quite a feat. Unsurprisingly, Qwest is claiming that the system is a financial disaster. Yeah, a financial disaster for their overpriced monopoly.

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Loma Linda Fiber Offers Great Payback

We already mentioned Loma Linda's venture into fiber optics. Now a blogger has crunched the numbers and shown that the project will be fully repaid within 10 years. This says nothing of the indirect economic benefits of such a system either. As much as the established players want to pull out the "boondogle" boogeyman, Loma Linda sets them straight.

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Jacksonville Fiber: A Threat to Incumbents?

Jacksonville, Florida has been building a large fiber ring to be used for city and other government services. The article, however, drops hints that the city might choose to do an FTTH project, something that would spook BellSouth and Comcast. Could Jacksonville's future hold high-speed broadband that blows DSL and cable out of the water? Let's hope so.

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Municipal Fiber Advocacy: Not Just for Utah

She's a stay-at-home mom and Illinois' loudest municipal fiber advocate. Meet Annie Collins, chairwoman of Fiber for our Future, the Illinois equivalent of FreeUTOPIA. She's gotten referendums on the ballot twice to get municipal fiber in her town, failing thanks to heavy spending by the incumbent providers SBC and (surprise) Comcast. Now she's making a run for County Clerk to bring more attention to her proposals.

Telcos beware: Utah isn't the only state willing to take on your monopoly.

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FTC Report Shows Many Benefits to Muni Broadband

Among the benefits are increased competition, lower prices, and higher efficiency. The only con it can come up with is a weak sauce possibility that municipalities would engage in anti-competitive behavior. That's amusing considering how long cable and telephone companies have been abusing their monopoly status. The article also cites that HR 5252 would have protected efforts to roll out municipal communications services had it not been stalled by the Net Neutrality debacle.

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Fiber Being Installed in Small Indiana Town

The small town of Crawfordsville, IN will be knee-deep in fiber by 2007. The municipal electric company is installing the FTTP project which will be live by early next year. From the sounds of things, this project is going to be a single-carrier network, but it should provide some decent competition for the cable and phone companies.

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Home Fiber Installations Top One Million

Fiber to the home (FTTH) is now in over one million homes nationwide with an estimated six million that could be hooked up, the so-called "last mile" issue. Something significant is that while Utah only makes up 0.7% of the national population, it accounts for about 4.1% of the installed base for fiber, almost all of it belonging to the UTOPIA and iProvo projects. It goes to show that UTOPIA is necessary to keep us on the leading edge and maintain a competitive business environment, especially since Qwest seems to be doing a whole lot of nothing when it comes to fiber.

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FreeUTOPIA Gets Press

I was interviewed about UTOPIA in an article in the latest Salt Lake City Weekly. Grab a copy from one of dozens of places around town or see below for the link to the article.

Unsurprisingly, Comcast and Qwest are denying that UTOPIA has forced them to be more competitive, yet the article can cite differential pricing in areas with UTOPIA and a sudden interest by both carriers in delivering broadband to Brigham City after they signed up with UTOPIA. The article also cites how both Qwest and Comcast have been using 1-year contracts to lock people into their service just head of UTOPIA rollouts. Same old game, guys, and we're wise to it. 

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UTOPIA Brings Broadband to Rural Users Faster Than Qwest, Comcast

There's an article in the Davis County Clipper concerning UTOPIA's rollout to rural areas. These areas have been underserved by the incumbent carriers for years. UTOPIA finally brings them the benefits of high-speed without the high price tag that cable and phone companies charge. UTOPIA could very well be the first and only broadband service that many rural Utahns will see.

The article also notes that demand in urban and suburban areas is strong with developers of new housing and apartment complexes requesting that UTOPIA be built into the property.