Press Release: UTOPIA supports DISH Network’s Efforts to Provide Consumer Choice


Media Contacts:

Robyn Geist 801-364-0088 ext. 106 or 801-680-1135

Brian Wilkinson 801-364-0088 ext. 102 or 801-673-5615



UTOPIA Supports DISH Network’s Efforts to Provide Consumer Choice


DISH Network faces lawsuit from TV networks over its newest technology:

a user-enabled commercial skipping feature called AutoHop


Salt Lake City (June 1, 2012) – UTOPIA, the open-access fiber-optic network formed by 16 Utah cities to provide critical advanced communications infrastructure to their residents, is announcing strong support for one of its newest services providers, DISH Network, and its efforts to promote consumer choice in the face of a lawsuit from three of the major television networks over DISH’s ad-skipping AutoHop technology.

“Among one of the many reasons we partnered with DISH Network as a service provider on the UTOPIA network is because they are at the forefront of providing unique entertainment options and more choice to consumers,” said Todd Marriott, Executive Director of UTOPIA. “DISH Network recognizes that consumers desire the options to be able to view the content they want, when they want it, and, most importantly, how they want it, particularly when they have already paid for it. Competition and consumer choice were fundamental reasons UTOPIA was formed as an open access network”

DISH’s AutoHop technology allows its customers to enable a feature that automatically skips over commercials in primetime TV programming from the major networks that has been recorded on consumers’ DVRs. It does not skip over ads when subscribers are watching the programming live.

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The Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency, more commonly known as UTOPIA, consists of a group of 16 Utah cities that joined together to form a state-of-the-art fiber-optic network and provide critical advanced communications infrastructure to their residents. The network offers fiber-to-the-premises technology allowing for faster services that are uninterrupted by copper wiring or shared connections with neighbors. Its open access model fosters competition among private sector service providers who offer Internet, ubee routers, television, telephone and other services, giving customers the freedom to choose their own service providers, the best prices and the best service.

For more information on UTOPIA including member cities and business and residential service providers, visit

Press Release: UTOPIA cities gearing up for growth

WEST VALLEY CITY— The eleven pledging cities of the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA; are currently discussing options for the next stage of the network’s growth. After a string of successes since June of 2008, the open-access, fiber-to-the-premise network is strategizing on how to reach more homes and businesses sooner.

“In less than two years – since we retained the new management team – the network has added about 50% as many new subscribers as the network had gained since 2002, grown from three service providers to 12, and we’ve deployed fiber throughout Tremonton and Brigham City, and in portions of Layton and West Valley City,” says the UTOPIA board chair, Kane Loader of Midvale City. “The UTOPIA model is working, but we need to maintain this growth in customers.”

The new plan anticipates adding about 20,000 more customers over the next several years. “We’ve known for a long time that UTOPIA needs a much larger customer base, and a good mix of business and residential customers, to make the books balance,” says Murray Mayor Dan Snarr. “Our cities are already obligated to the network for years to come, so we need to grow to critical mass rapidly, based on a plan to ensure long-term financial health.”

“YouTube alone uses as much bandwidth as the entire World Wide Web did in 2000,” points out Layton Mayor Steve Curtis. “Bandwidth needs in the near future will be enormous, as Google recently acknowledged. We want to make sure our residents and businesses are thriving, and in a world with an increasingly digital economy, a clear factor will be access to the near-unlimited bandwidth of fiber to the premise. UTOPIA is needed by our communities more than ever.”

“A recent New York Times article stated that, without a commitment to open access, affordability for higher bandwidth is only going to get worse. We need to keep growing this fiber network to support local businesses and the private sector,” insists Orem Mayor Jerry Washburn. “Governments build roads, and allow FedEx and UPS to compete on them. Governments build airports, and allow Delta and Southwest to compete at them. It makes sense for us to build a fiber network, and allow any interested service provider to compete on it, which currently includes XMission, Telesphere, Voonami, Connected Lyfe,, and more.”

Under this next phase of growth, the eleven pledging cities would create a new bond and release funds incrementally as demand is demonstrated. Officials from Brigham City, Centerville, Layton, Lindon, Midvale, Murray, Orem, Perry, Payson, Tremonton and West Valley are working together with UTOPIA staff to finalize the funding plan.



UTOPIA – Elizabeth Vincent, 801.613.3837,

    • Kane Loader, UTOPIA Board Chair, 801.567.7206

Voonami Offering Virtual Desktop Service on UTOPIA

Voonami shot out a press release today announcing that they are now offering virtual desktops over UTOPIA. Basically, you have a remote desktop session on one of their servers with all of your data and applications which can then be accessed with almost any client. This is the holy grail of cloud services and is only really feasible when you have a high-bandwidth connection on both ends. UTOPIA is a great platform for pushing these kinds of next-generation services and I’m always excited to see something outside of the normal voice/video/data offerings.