Is the wait over in Layton? UTOPIA service may be available!

Forum commenter mabuxton reports that they’re getting UTOPIA installed at their Layton home in just two weeks. XMission and two other providers (I’m guessing FuzeCore and Nuvont) are reportedly going to have residential service available in the area and you can sign up for the install right now. If you’ve been waiting with baited breath to get UTOPIA service in the city, now is the time to call!

No More Impasse? Centerville May Have Deal to Spend RDA Funds on UTOPIA

According to the Standard-Examiner, Centerville may be able to spend RDA funds to expand UTOPIA without facing legal action from Qwest. The deal would be to build a telecommunications hub within the city that would be open to all networks and providers willing to offer high-speed services to businesses and residents. Centerville could spend as much as $150,000 to expand UTOPIA to businesses along the I-15 corridor and complete the network hub.

Anyone at the meeting care to share additional insights? I couldn’t make it due to weather and preparing for another activity tomorrow night.

Centerville Mulls Using RDA Money to Expand UTOPIA

The David County Clipper reports that Centerville is thinking about using redevelopment agency funds to push UTOPIA construction in their city. The idea, which is in very early stages, is to use the presence of the network as a lure for high-tech companies. Nothing in final, but this presents a unique way for cities to expand UTOPIA using an existing funding mechanism.

UTOPIA (Finally) Launches New Website

After many months of waiting, UTOPIA has launched a new website (warning: sound and Flash ahead). It also includes a form for you to submit contact information to UTOPIA to check for service in your area and express your interest in signing up when it becomes available, apparently they hired a business web design firm that help with all the problems the old site had.  It also lists FuzeCore and Fibernet as providers (in addition to XMission, Veracity and Nuvont), but Mstar is still absent from the list. None of the providers on the website are shown as providing video, definitely a cause for some concern. The site is also lacking any kind of newsletter sign-up or RSS feed for updates. Still, this is a marked improvement over the presumed-dead static site that had been up for years.

UTOPIA Adds Fibernet as a New Provider

Local ISP and co-location company Fibernet has been added a new provider on UTOPIA. It appears that they will be providing Internet-only services and plan to serve both homes and businesses. The official press release is light on details and Fibernet doesn’t currently have UTOPIA pricing on their website.

As an aside, this popped up in Google Alerts and I didn’t end up getting a copy of the press release directly despite a promise that I would be on that list. Hey UTOPIA guys? On the ball with the information distrubution por favor?

Light the Fiber: UTOPIA Available in Tremonton

Good news for those that haven’t heard yet: UTOPIA service is now available in Tremonton. Both XMission and Nuvont are selling services and the word on the street is that the install fees are rock-bottom (under $60). If you’ve been waiting for UTOPIA in Tremonton, wait no more!

The Need for Speed: Comcast Plans to Up Speeds, Qwest Putting FTTN on Ice

As a sure sign that the souring economy is causing broadband issues, Qwest is planning to ramp down deployment of their FTTN-based ASDL2+ service. While one of their supplies cites the coming winter weather as the reason for the slow-down, but analysts are reading between the lines that plunging landline subscriptions paired with a slowing economy means rough rides ahead for telcos. AT&T is also seeing some effects of slowing subscriber demand. It’s good news for ISPs, though: the wholesale price of bandwidth continues to drop and consumers are more willing to drop cable TV than high-speed Internet, especially as Comcast continues to raise rates.

Meanwhile, details of Comcast’s new DOCSIS 3.0 deployments is coming to light and, while good news for current subscribers or those switching from DSL, it’s hardly competitive with offerings from UTOPIA. In addition to a 50Mbps/5Mbps tier at $150/mo, Comcast plans to upgrade current subscribers to 12Mbps/2Mbps at $42.95/mo and offer a 22Mbps/5Mbps tier at $62.95/mo to compete with a similar offering from Verizon. Compare that to a 15Mbps/15Mbps plan at $40/mo or 50Mbps/50Mbps for $55/mo from either MSTAR or XMission. Just be thankful you aren’t a SureWest customer. They charge around $192/mo for a 50Mbps connection.

FTTH Coming Soon to Manti, Ephraim, Sterling

It’s not just cash-rich incumbent telcos (read: Verizon) that can get in on the FTTH action. Broadband Properties Magazine reported in the August/September issue that Manti Tele Communications Company is replacing its copper with a brand-new FTTH network designed to devlier faster Internet speeds as well as IPTV. The company’s website (which looks like it was designed in 1997, the year the company was formed) is light on details, but I’m hopeful that this is a big step forward for these rural communities.

Courts Give Thumbs Up to Cablevision's Network DVR

Cablevision was onto something awesome when they decided to do a DVR without additional hardware in your home, instead recording and playing back the streams directly from their headend with no equipment for you to maintain. Now the courts have decided that content providers are up in the night with their claims that such technology infringes copyright and have allowed Cablevision to move forward with this technology. What does this mean for you? It means cheap DVR with the ability to watch from any set in the house. Score one for technology and the consumer.