After many months of waiting, UTOPIA has launched a new website (warning: sound and Flash ahead). It also includes a form for you to submit contact information to UTOPIA to check for service in your area and express your interest in signing up when it becomes available, apparently they hired a business web design firm that help with all the problems the old site had. It also lists FuzeCore and Fibernet as providers (in addition to XMission, Veracity and Nuvont), but Mstar is still absent from the list. None of the providers on the website are shown as providing video, definitely a cause for some concern. The site is also lacking any kind of newsletter sign-up or RSS feed for updates. Still, this is a marked improvement over the presumed-dead static site that had been up for years.
It’s very press-releasey, but still worth a read: Veracity has no plans to leave UTOPIA. Given that the future of MSTAR is rather shakey, it’s good to see that one of the initial providers plans to sitck around for the long-haul.
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.
I had the chance to sit down with someone from Veracity yesterday to get a better understanding of what they do and how they do it. One of the things that came up that is the relationship between Veracity and Nuvont, a spin-off company. I know I had a bit of confusion as to the relationship between the two entities. Now that I have the full story, it’s worth getting it out in the open to clear that air.
Remember how Broadweave constantly hammered on the importance of owning thier own phone switch? Apparently it’s all talk and no walk. An insider has revealed that Broadweave resells phone service from Veracity for all of the customers they acquired from MSTAR on the iProvo network. With Broadweave unable to control all of the SIP session from one end to the other, it sounds like subscribers should be prepared for more of the finger-pointing game when their voice service experiences issues. That’ll be a great selling point for the marketers from Telerus, won’t it?
This same insider has reported that MSTAR plans to follow suit and switch their customers on UTOPIA from using NGT to Veracity. They would join Nuvont in selling white box services from Veracity and make XMission the only current provider to not do so. This will reportedly result in a loss of dialing features, voice mail boxes and even some toll-free numbers. Subscribers had better prepare for the worst.
Seems that the rumors were true: Sorenson took a long, hard look at the sale of iProvo to Broadweave and said “no thanks”. Despite this, Broadweave managed to line up alternate funding that appears to be an amalgation of EsNet and some of Broadweave’s existing investors including Fraser Bullock of Sorenson. Broadweave is playing thier hand close and isn’t talking numbers, so I’d be interested to know what the final deal is. After all, if we’re back to talking letters of credit and not money in the bank, we should be quite concerned that these letters are spread a bit thin.
Broadweave also won’t talk numbers. They won’t disclose the number of subscribers they have or the revenues they are receiving beyond vague statements like “the numbers are higher than expected”. While I can appreciate a business’ right to proprietary information, the public financing aspect of the deal means additional public scrutiny is a must. The rumor mill is that both Nuvont and Veracity plan to aggressively pursue new subscribers and many customers who’ve gotten fed up with the dwindling VOD options, flaky program guide and no after-hours NOC have been evaluating switching their provider.
Good luck Broadweave, but it seems that you aren’t totally up to the challenge.
High placed sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, have confirmed that Veracity has pulled out of the merger with Broadweave and that Sorenson Capital may have withdrawn financial backing as a result. The 60-day delay cited by Broadweave in the papers is rumored to be buying time to find new backers. The loss of Veracity combined with the iProvo NOC employees who have left means that video experience is almost non-existent and staff resources will be stretched dangerously thin. This may account for anonymous commenters who have reported issues reaching customer service over the last several days. When asked about these details, Provo City employees involved in the deal were unaware of the failure of the merger.