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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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Thursday, February 12, 2004

 

Qwest may kill UTOPIA with just $50,000 and a powerful son-in-law

In Utah, incumbent monopoly telco Qwest's modest investment of $50,000 in campaign contributions and its' powerful lobbyists (one is the son-in-law of the State Senate President) may be enough to kill the UTOPIA 18-city initiative to build a publicly-owned FTTH (fiber to the home) system. A bill (openly crafted by Qwest) that would effectively outlaw city's financing the project sailed out of the Senate committee and threatens to become law. This action comes after 18 city councils have voted to join UTOPIA and 6 have already made financial guarantees . The UTOPIA system is based on an open-access model allowing multiple competing providers to offer voice, data and video services to subscribers.

This comes as the Salt Lake City Tribune, a strong foe of the UTOPIA initiative, runs an article wondering why Utah is losing its' position as a major technology center. (Thanks to Don Iannone for this link)

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