Centerville followed Murray in rejecting Milestone Two tonight, this one on a 4-1 vote. Only Perry and Orem are left to vote, but so far over half of the addresses covered by UTOPIA are opting to move forward with getting more information from Macquarie on the true cost to build, operate, and maintain the network for 30 years. Despite what you may hear, this is enough to have the Macquarie deal move forward if the Milestone Two cities accept the finalized proposal.
Most disappointing is that Centerville has 93% coverage in their city, so the vote appears to be a “we got ours” kind of statement. Tremonton and Brigham City both voted yes despite similar levels of coverage, recognizing that this is the best offer on the table and a better one is unlikely to come along.
I’ve just received an updated list of what meetings and votes are currently scheduled to take place regarding Macquarie’s proposal to UTOPIA. As always, theses are subject to change and could be added to. If you hear anything, let me know and I’ll update accordingly.
Public Meetings and Town Halls:
June 3 @ 7:00PM, Lindon: Lindon City Center, 100 N State St, Lindon
June 4 @ 7:00PM, Tremonton: Bear River High, 1450 S Main St, Garland
June 5 @ 5:00PM, Orem: Orem Senior Friendship Center, 93 N 400 E, Orem
June 5 @ 6:30PM, Murray: Doty Education Center, Building 6 of the Intermountain Medical Center, 5121 S Cottonwood St, Murray
June 5 @ 7:30PM, Centerville: Centerville City Hall, 250 N Main St, Centerville
June 17 @ 7:00PM, Lindon: Lindon City Centr, 100 N State St, Lindon
June 17 @ 7:30PM, Centerville: Centerville City Hall, 250 N Main St, Centerville
June 19 @ 6:00PM, Orem: Orem Senior Friendship Center, 93 N 400 E, Orem
June 5 @ 7:00PM, Layton: Layton City Hall, 437 N Wasatch Dr, Layton
June 18 @ 6:00PM, Payton: Payson City Hall, 439 W Utah Ave, Payson
June 24 @ 6:30PM, Murray: Murray City Hall, 5025 S State St, Murray
June 24, Centerville: Centerville City Hall, 250 N Main St, Centerville
June 26, Orem: Orem City Hall, 56 N State St, Orem
June 26 @ 7:00PM, Perry: Perry City Hall, 3005 W 1200 S, Perry
Some of these are cutting it pretty close to the deadline to respond of June 27. Payson is reportedly interested in finding out more, but their years of not attending board meetings with any regularity has left a huge information and expertise vacuum within the city government. I haven’t heard anything about Perry at all. Brigham City will be voting on the proposal either on June 19 or 26 during the regularly scheduled council meeting.
Want to ask Macquarie some more burning questions? Interested in seeing how your city council votes? Here’s the so-far definitive list of what is happening and where. Note that any of these is subject to change and I’ll do my best to publish updates.
Thursday May 22: Brigham City will have an open house at the Bunderson Center, 641 E 200 N, from 6PM to 8PM. Macquarie will be there to answer one-on-one questions.
Tuesday May 27: Orem will have Nick Hann at the regular city council meeting to answer questions and take feedback. The council meets at 3PM in the Public Safety Training Room.
Tuesday May 27: Both West Valley City and Layton will be taking votes on advancing with Milestone Two during their normal city council meetings.
Tuesday June 3: Lindon will have a public discussion item on the city council agenda. They meet 7PM at the Lindon City Center on State St.
Thursday June 5: Murray will have an open house at the Doty Center inside the Intermountain Medical Center complex. It starts at 6:30PM.
Thursday June 5: Centerville will have an open house, education session, and public Q&A at 7:30PM. I’m assuming it’s at city hall, but the location is unclear.
Tuesday June 17: Centerville, Tremonton, and Lindon should all be taking votes on advancing with Milestone Two during their normal city council meetings.
Notably absent from the list are Payson and Perry, cities that seem to have adopted “bury our heads in the sand and hope for the best” as their strategy. If you live in either city, you should contact your mayor and city council to give them a nudge.
Today UTOPIA announced that they will be offering 1Gbps connections to every home they pass. Word on the street is that getting a connection that’s faster than your hard drive (!) should run in the neighborhood of $330-ish per month if you’re leasing the connection. Right now, only a handful of providers in the country offer such blistering speeds to residential customers.
With Internet Service Faster Than a Centerville Wind,
UTOPIA Wires City’s Businesses for the Future
Centerville’s Mayor, UTOPIA and Wired Businesses Hold “Fiber Friday” Event
to Demonstrate Benefits of Fiber Optics
Consider these dilemmas faced daily by Utah businesses:
· An advertising agency has recently given employees the choice to work from home one day a week—a great morale booster that also reduces driving and improves air quality. But the need to send large graphics files back and forth makes it practically impossible because the internet connections at both the business and the employee’s home are too slow. The employee has no choice but to abandon what was supposed to be a great idea.
After many, many months of inaction, UTOPIA is finally starting to move some more fiber into the ground starting with Centerville. This is the start of wiring up anchor institutions using the federal broadband grants, money that should touch most member cities. It won’t get the fiber all the way to your house, but it will wire schools, hospitals, libraries, and other government buildings which will make hooking up neighborhoods much easier and cheaper.
So what do you need to do to get service when it rolls by near you? Go to UTOPIA’s website and register your interest. They will be using those registrations to identify places to market to. If your city is part of the UIA, you’ll be able to get the install cost rolled into your monthly fees. If your city is not part of the UIA or is not a UTOPIA member city, you need to go talk to your city council to get that fixed.
Yeah, I know, you’ve heard it before. This time, though, UTOPIA has a sack full of federal dollars to financing building out the middle-mile infrastructure in Centerville. Does this mean service in your neighborhood? Not entirely. The construction will get as far as the substations in the city, but getting it into your house means getting enough of your interested neighbors to sign up for service via the new UIA plan. Jog on over to UTOPIA’s interest form and get your name on the list to be notified if/when they’re ready to build out your neighborhood.
Several UTOPIA member cities are gearing up to start taking votes on the new Utah Infrastructure Agency designed to help fund new construction of the network. The Utah Taxpayers Association is trying to get people to show up at these meetings to protest the UIA and try and kill it. In their effort to do so, they continue to distort, twist, and outright lie in their efforts to rile people up.
First off, the UIA bonds are not an unconditional loan. They are funds that will be secured by payments from subscribers. If there aren’t enough subscribers to secure repayment, the money doesn’t get touched. You would think that such an arrangement would be acceptable to an organization that purports to represent taxpayers as it clearly shifts the burden from the taxpayers as a whole to the subscribers. Attempting to characterize the UIA as a big grab-bag is a big lie.
Secondly, the UTA says that UTOPIA is running a $20M deficit in “operating expenses”. The problem, however, is that their version of “operating expenses” is entirely unclear. I’m betting that they chose to include equipment depreciation and possibly even the bond payments in that figure in order to paint a much more dire picture than actually exists. For all of the accusations by the UTA that UTOPIA doesn’t disclose enough information, it’s hypocritical and extremely irresponsible of them to distort the numbers for the purposes of supporting their arguments.
Remember the last time the UTA tried to organize an anti-UTOPIA protest? UTOPIA and its supporters showed up and ended up turning half of the attendees into subscribers. Let’s show them it can be done again. Centerville meets tonight (October 19) at 7PM, Orem is October 26 at 6PM, and Payson is October 27 at 6PM. All meetings are at the respective city hall. Let’s show the UTA that lying won’t get them very far.
Now that UTOPIA has $16.2M in federal funding, the question is what it’s going to do. The money itself is specifically to hook up “anchor institutions” such as schools, libraries, healthcare facilities, and government buildings. This money will be used to run fiber to over 400 buildings in Perry, Payson, Midvale, Murray, Centerville, Layton, Orem, and West Valley City. With those connections in the ground, it will be much less expensive to build out to nearby neighborhoods. That is, provided that your city joined the UIA and is willing to finance the cost of installations. A few cities are either in opposition to or on the fence about joining the UIA, so the fiber would stop at those anchor institutions. Time is limited to get them on the boat, so make sure you’re hounding them about joining.