Bumps in the Road for the Prime Time Takeover of MSTAR?

A forum poster on DSLReports isn’t too happy with Prime Time Communications. S/he reported had an STB swap last week that resulted in a loss of channels, frequent pixelation and/or tiling, and being downgraded from a dual-tuner DVR. They’re also reporting issues with out-of-sync audio and video with the new Aminet 530 STB. Given the rather hasty swap from the iProvo headend to the Prime Time one in St. George it’s not surprising to find a few bumps in the road but after years of MSTAR’s video issues, it’s very ill-timed.

Any readers out there with similar issues or pointers on how to fix it? Or, better yet, would someone from Prime Time like to reach out to give this guy a hand?

Is Broadweave Charging Big Install Fees?

A blog post showed up in my Google Alerts from a Provo resident who claims that Broadweave may be charging big-time install fees for customers not already wired to iProvo. Per the poster’s account, they called on behalf of a neighbor and was told that any home not already hooked up would be assessed a $600 install fee. A lot of people hammered on UTOPIA for their install fee trial balloon and they responded with low install fees (if any) and a slightly higher but still competitive monthly rate to compensate. Broadweave had better smart up and take a play from that book.

BREAKING: Broadweave CEO Steve Christensen to Step Down as CEO, Leave Company Today

Inside sources confirm the rumor from a month ago: Steve Christensen will leave his position as CEO of Broadweave and will not longer be a part of the company effective today. After months of relying on the line-of-credit to make the bond payment and facing an increasingly hostile HOA in Traverse Mountain, investors at EsNet are rumored to be taking over operations and exerting much greater control over the company to protect their investment. I say it’s about time.

This change in leadership can only be a good thing. Steve always struck me as a used car salesman in a better suit, all too willing to believe his own inflated hype. In contrast, I hear the guys from EsNet are very savvy and know how to run a business. Maybe this ship can finally be turned around.

UTOPIA in Perry: "Real Soon Now" Becomes July

Forum commenter ALinPerry reports receiving a notice with his utility bill that UTOPIA will be going door-to-door in Perry next month to gauge interest in getting service. If interest is high enough, UTOPIA will finish the west side of town and add new subscribers as early as July. If you’ve been waiting for UTOPIA in Perry, keeps your eyes open for their reps.

Rumor: Management Shake-Up at Broadweave

Word around the campfire is that EsNet isn’t very happy with how Broadweave is doing and plans to find a new operations manager as part of taking a more active role in the company. I’ve confirmed with with two sources, so it seems pretty solid. One of the sources claims that CEO Steve Christensen may be out of a job as part of the reorganization. It’s good to hear that EsNet is trying to fix what’s broken but will it be enough to right the ship? There haven’t been any reports of it so far, but I’m willing to bet that Broadweave made their bond payment from the reserve fund yet again and is on-track to do so next month.

Centerville Inches Closer to RDA-Funded Fiber Hub Despite SB205 Threat

Centerville is getting closer to using RDA money to build a fiber hub in the city even as the threat of Sen. Bramble’s RDA amendments loom. The city council was unanimuous in voting to draft final documents to make it all happen. Once built, it would rescue about $2M worth of “stranded investment” at a cost of around $100K.

Sen. Bramble’s boxcar legislation for the changes, SB205, may contain provisions that would allow such carrier-neutral infrastructure to be built with RDA money, but there’s still a very strong chance that the provision would be nixed and telecom spending banned outright. You’d better contact your state senators and representatives to make them aware of what’s coming.

UPDATE: The Standard-Examiner has more on the story.

UTOPIA Mobile Home Spotted in Brigham City

Commenter Dave has noted that he has seen UTOPIA’s mobile home cruising the streets of Brigham City. From what I’ve heard, this is being used as a mobile office to provide local demonstrations and provide local support ahead of any marketing efforts. Don’t know if they were passing through for gas on their way to Tremonton or if it means that service in Brigham is right around the corner. Your best bet is to call up UTOPIA or one of its providers to find out if service is available to you.

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!

Is Frontier Blowing Smoke on LNP?

After posting that Frontier Communications was giving competing telcos a hard time with porting numbers, commenter Aaron Wilcox, the Utah Account Manager for Frontier, advised that Frontier would be more than happy to port numbers given the proper paperwork was filed with the Utah Public Services Commission. At least one service provider called bunk on that claim citing that under current telecommunications law, the Utah PSC doesn’t issue the Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity that Aaron refers to if the service area in question has less than 5,000 lines. Documents I received from the PSC indicated that they suspended LNP waivers for rural telecoms, but those documents only reference wireline-to-wireless transfers, not wireline-to-wireline.

So which is it? Can customers in Tremonton port their numbers or does Frontier have those numbers permanently locked down? Is the suspension of the wavier a boon only to wireless companies? Could customers get their phone number to a UTOPIA provider by transferring to a wireless carrier and then porting the number again? It sounds like Frontier has been taking advantage of the current regulatory structure and resulting confusion to keep customers locked into their service.