Provo's Decision Tonight

Tonight, Provo’s Municipal Council will likely make a decision on the proposal from Veracity to float part of the bond payment for upwards of 10 years. I’m not going to delude myself or any of you: the meeting and vote is mere formality. The Council will, amidst some grumbling, approve the proposal. Steve Turley will vote against it knowing it will pass so if something goes wrong later, he can wash his hands of any responsibility. (Prudent politics, Steve, but how about owning something for a change?) Given the options that have been presented by the mayor, I don’t know that the municipal council is being given much of a choice.

Yes, there are options. Provo could take the network back with many different avenues for running it differently. That said, there exists no political willpower or stomach for doing so. If Provo doesn’t have its heart into running the network, it will be at least as badly mismanaged as it was before if not worse. They’re still in “run and hide” mode, willing to accept any moderately reasonable deal to keep the thing away from the city.

Several companies have expressed to me an interest in participating in an RFP process for the network. Provided that such an RFP process leaves enough time for companies to submit applications and the city to review them before having to make a “do or die” decision regarding Broadweave, it should be encouraged and acted upon to make sure that the Council is truly evaluating all of the possibilities before them. There’s nothing to lose by asking for more options.

Even with options other than approving the sale, I don’t think the council is going to consider them. Veracity has thrown Provo a decent pitch with a decent chance of success and this Council has already shown a tendency to vote with the mayor. (Despite their recent pushback, I doubt there will be any serious resistance.) Unless another party comes along with a better concrete proposal, it would appear that the best choice is what the council was going to do anyway. How’s that for the world’s most tepid and lame endorsement?

UTOPIA Posts Another New RFP

Rolling stones gather no moss and UTOPIA is barrelling down the hill. There’s a new RFP up on their website looking for fiber splicing and testing to tentatively begin in August. The RFP closes on August 1, so it looks like they’re sticking to an aggressive expansion strategy. Good news for those of you staring at dark fiber in your town!

UTOPIA Construction to Start in August, Just as Planned

Forum poster luminous has pointed out on the forums that UTOPIA has posted a new RFP to start construction again by August. This falls in line with the expectations set with city councils in April and May to waste no time in getting things rolling again. It's definitely good news that the project is meeting it's goals so far at this early stage of reorganization. If things keep up this way, residents of RUS cities will see service by this fall.