Liveblogging: UTOPIA Board Meeting, October 27, 2008

This is a liveblog of the UTOPIA Board Meeting on October 27, 2008.

10:43AM The meeting is now adjourned.

10:42AM Sorry about the hiccup. Looks like my hosting company had to do another emergency reboot.

10:36AM UTOPIA is also working with RUS and has finally been able to open a dialog. The head-end is also nearing completion and there was mention of video production services. Could this mean that public access is in the works like on iProvo?

10:33AM The plan is still to bring in business providers and more business accounts.

10:29AM Todd Marriot is delivering an update on the network status. They plan to have 4-5 new triple-play providers Real Soon Now™ and are still working with Tetratech and PacketFront. They’ve also been doing upgrades to the core to make it “carrier class”. The current plan, however, is unwritten. As I’ve found on my own, they have been visiting city councils to give them updates and have been doing so in groups of two to avoid having to make them open meetings.

10:26AM The motion to create Finance, Construction and Membership committees carried.

10:23AM The topic at hand is the lack of data available to evaluate. Marriott’s position is that they still need to carefully guard a lot of data. Amazingly enough, he had a meeting with Royce Van Tassell and the UTA now supports UTOPIA’s success as best for the taxpayers. It’s good to heard that UTOPIA is working with one-time rivals to bring good ideas in-house.

10:21AM Todd Marriott is now presenting an update on UTOPIA’s status.

10:20AM The motion carried for reform the executive committee without Centerville.

10:19AM Paul Cutler has asked that Centerville remain on the executive committee since they would normally have another year of service. Brent Grotegut of Payson has spoken strongly against this as he believes the current executive committee membership is responsible for the problems UTOPIA has experienced.

10:18AM The executive committee has also been reorganized, but I’ve had a hard time following just who was asked to fill which positions. Hopefully those changes will be posted on the website along with the meeting minutes. Reps from Layton, Tremonton, Orem, and Brigham City will all be part of the committee.

10:13AM Kane Loader of Midvale has been elected as the new chairman of the board. He replaces Alex Jensen of Layton.

10:12AM The meeting is getting underway now.

10:10AM Unsurprisingly, reps from Comcast, Qwest and the Utah Taxpayers Association are on-hand to see things unwind. Steve Oberbeck from the Salt Lake Tribune also came into the room.

10:01AM Looks like we’re starting a bit late today. I’ve already noticed that several of the board members have changed including the reps from Murray (who is now Jeff Dredge) and Centerville (who is now Blaine Lutz).

UTOPIA Update Planned in Centerville

The City of Centerville has posted a memo on their website that they expect an update from UTOPIA Executive Director Todd Marriot at the city council meeting on November 5. Council meetings are typically held at 7PM in the city council chambers at 250 N Main St. Anyone looking to glean some more information on what UTOPIA is up to should be at this meeting.

(And UTOPIA guys? Hook me up with your meeting schedule so that curious supporters like me know in advance. I stumbled across this while looking for something unrelated. Seriously.)

Perry City Council to get UTOPIA Update on October 20

I got a note from a reader that the Perry City Council is expecting to receive an update from UTOPIA on their progress in the city during the city council meeting on October 20th at 7PM. If you’re looking for information on when UTOPIA will be available in Perry, you should make you’re at this meeting.

h/t: Al, the reader who let me know about this

U-CAN Report: September 2008

The name of the game is frustration. Residents in Brigham City are eager to see UTOPIA get deployed, but they’re a bit sour on the Real Soon Now(TM) deployment date, one they’ve heard and seen missed before. Many aren’t going to wait around forever, instead going for cable modem, DSL and even wireless or cellular connections to sate their high-speed cravings. Some have even gone so far as to use ISDN to move away from dial-up connections.

The problem is the uncertainty. Without certainty of a specific date and location of deployment, residents are willing to sign lengthy contracts with existing providers instead of holding out for UTOPIA service sometime in the future. I’m personally confident that Brigham and neighboring Perry will see the first homes and businesses lit by year’s end. That means little to residents that want to support UTOPIA but feel as if they have been left in the dark for far too long. There’s also still lingering questions on what the install fees will be, if any. Qwest and Comcast hammered UTOPIA on the possibility and that leaves residents spooked.

Still, it’s encouraging to see that residents are supportive of UTOPIA and are eager to see it come to town. What it will take now is walking the walk, hooking up services to subscribers, in order to win over the city.

U-CAN Meetings for September

U-CAN Meetings will be held this month in Brigham City and West Valley City. Due to the lengthy travel time involved in getting up to Brigham City, no meetings will be held this month in Utah or Davis Counties. The meeting in Brigham City will be held at the Brigham City Carnegie Library at 26 E Forest St and the West Valley meeting will be held at the Hunter Library at 4740 W 4100 S. As usual, all are encouraged to attend (even the resident mole from Frontier Communications).

UPDATE: In my haste to publish, I forgot to mention dates and times. WVC is on the 25th at 7PM and Brigham City is on the 27th at noon.