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Designers of fiber networks for electric utilities and communities.

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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Wednesday, February 04, 2004


Utah: Lindon backs bond for fiber-optic network

The Lindon, Utah City Council voted 6 to 1 to financially back UTOPIA, an 18-city municipal FTTH (fiber to the home) project. So far, city councils have overwhelmingly backed UTOPIA (Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency) in the 3 cities to vote on it so far.

The Salt Lake Tribune, vocal foes of any threat to the incumbents' monopoly, chose not report this news, instead running a piece claiming that WiMAX may overtake fiber in bandwidth, obsoleting any investment in UTOPIA. It appears the paper is trying to have it both ways. In the past, they've argued that UTOPIA is a bet on new and risky technology (FTTH); now that some any towns are successfully deploying FTTH, they're proposing a new wireless technology that's not even on the market yet.

At Fiber Planners, we're interested in WiMAX' potential (when available) as another form of last mile access our utility customers can choose to serve their customers in addition to BPL (broadband over power line) and FTTH. The Tribune's article is not really about WiMAX, however -- it's about stopping UTOPIA.

Make no mistake -- if UTOPIA were based on wireless technology, they'd be arguing the other side of the issue. For the Tribune, Qwest, Comcast and their allies in the state legislature, this is not about technology and it's certainly not about "free enterprise" -- it's about protecting the government-sanctioned monopolies of Qwest and Comcast, even if that means over-riding the desires of local communities across the state.

(Note: fixed bad link February 5)


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