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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, March 05, 2004


More on UTOPIA's survival in the Utah legislature

UTOPIA, the 18-city FTTH (fiber to the home) initiative largely survived a heavy lobbying effort in the Utah legislature by telecommunications giant Qwest, seeking to preserve its de facto monopoly in Utah. Onerous "UTOPIA-killer" financing rules were agreed to in the negotiations between the Senate and the House, but 17 of the 18 existing UTOPIA-like networks were "grandfathered" from having to meet them. (The 18th city, South Jordan, failed to meet one of the new bill's bureaucratic requirements by not posting a public notice by March 2).

No additional cities will be allowed to join the project without meeting the new financing requirements. Additionally, AT&T will no longer be allowed a temporary monopoly for several months during the project's initial roll-out; this is unfortunate since this would have facilitated ironing out any technical bugs in the network when the first few homes were connected.

The bill also will not affect other existing municipal broadband networks such as Provo's iProvo FTTH network.


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