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News and comments on community broadband networks, the communities deploying them and the technologies that support them. Published by Denise Frey and Al Bonnyman.

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Friday, December 05, 2003


UTOPIA update

A lot's been happening in Utah as I've been traveling over the last few weeks. I've already noted Provo's moving forward on its' iProvo network; on Provo's heels is a much larger FTTH (fiber to the home) network initiative.

UTOPIA (an acronym for Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency) is planning a massive 18-city FTTH (fiber to the home) system. The agency made several key announcements in the last month. Allied Telesyn's PON (passive optical network) gear was chosen for the project. California engineering and construction company Tetra Tech was selected to engineer and build the system.

The agency also decided to give one as-yet-undesignated triple play provider a short-term monopoly on providing service over the network. This is to ensure the initial kick off of service to the very first homes goes smoothly; I absolutely agree with this decision. The UTOPIA network will be opened to additional providers before the network is completely built.

While I was traveling over the last several weeks, UTOPIA received considerable press coverage, starting with a lengthy New York Times feature, "In Utah, Public Works Project in Digital". Other general articles that appeared:

Several leading pundits weighed in with their own views:

A local newspaper urged caution in evaluating the project's finances: "In Our View: Use care around the cutting edge"

Previous blog posts about the UTOPIA project:


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