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.)

Mstar Says It's Still on UTOPIA

I asked Mstar directly if they are still on UTOPIA and got the following response from Henry Rodriguez, Customer Service Manager:

The change to the UTOPIA website must be an administrative oversight, as Mstar continues to be the largest and most experienced service provider on the UTOPIA network. Any questions about UTOPIA’s website should be sent directly to the UTOPIA staff.

Forum commenter DIE-HARD has reported that he is an Mstar customer and hasn’t experienced any change in service or received any kind of notification of changes. I also put in an inquiry to one of my contacts at UTOPIA, but I haven’t heard anything back yet.

UPDATE: I’ve heard back from UTOPIA who said it is a temporary measure. They’ve started selling in Tremonton as has been rumored on the forum and wanted to make sure that Mstar would be prepared for a large influx of new customers before they’re listed.

Mstar Gone? UTOPIA Removes Them From the List of Providers

Frequent commenter Capt. Video pointed out that UTOPIA’s website no longer shows Mstar as a provider on the network, but there doesn’t appear to be any replacement for them. This means that no current providers offer video service. Mstar’s website, however, has not been similarly updated and still shows them as a provider. Anyone know what’s going on? Are current Mstar customers still getting service?

The Need for Speed: Comcast Plans to Up Speeds, Qwest Putting FTTN on Ice

As a sure sign that the souring economy is causing broadband issues, Qwest is planning to ramp down deployment of their FTTN-based ASDL2+ service. While one of their supplies cites the coming winter weather as the reason for the slow-down, but analysts are reading between the lines that plunging landline subscriptions paired with a slowing economy means rough rides ahead for telcos. AT&T is also seeing some effects of slowing subscriber demand. It’s good news for ISPs, though: the wholesale price of bandwidth continues to drop and consumers are more willing to drop cable TV than high-speed Internet, especially as Comcast continues to raise rates.

Meanwhile, details of Comcast’s new DOCSIS 3.0 deployments is coming to light and, while good news for current subscribers or those switching from DSL, it’s hardly competitive with offerings from UTOPIA. In addition to a 50Mbps/5Mbps tier at $150/mo, Comcast plans to upgrade current subscribers to 12Mbps/2Mbps at $42.95/mo and offer a 22Mbps/5Mbps tier at $62.95/mo to compete with a similar offering from Verizon. Compare that to a 15Mbps/15Mbps plan at $40/mo or 50Mbps/50Mbps for $55/mo from either MSTAR or XMission. Just be thankful you aren’t a SureWest customer. They charge around $192/mo for a 50Mbps connection.

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.

The Story Behind the iProvo Portals

A lot has been made of the issues with phone service on iProvo and the blame laid at the feet of World Wide Packets (now owned by Ciena). After getting a techincal overview of what’s going on with the devices, it appears that the blame is well-placed. As promised, earlier, here’s the explanation as to why the WWP portals are a big bucket of fail and how UTOPIA managed to dodge most of those issues.

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