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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, April 08, 2004


Utah: "Risk and Fiber"

Ben Fulton with the Salt Lake City Weekly has an excellent editorial on Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson's waffling on the city's participation in the UTOPIA (Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency) FTTH (fiber to the home) project. It succinctly captures the politics, the problems and the opportunities. Some excerpts:
"Support for UTOPIA may be a battle between optimistic futurists and pragmatic pessimists. Or it could be just about money ..."

"XMission owner and president Pete Ashdown was at first skeptical of UTOPIA's logistics and finances. It didn't take long for him to be won over. As a business owner, his Internet service provider business currently navigates all its customers along Qwest's DSL lines. Ashdown would love to be rid of that dependency, free to march his clients through a larger, faster, municipally funded network. 'We'd certainly like a situation where we didn't have to be overseen by our competition,' he said ..."

"'If Delta airlines ran the airport, don't you think they'd show favoritism toward Delta?' Enter private companies such as Qwest and Comcast, the 'Deltas' of which Ashdown speaks. Each opposes the use of public funds to compete against its own current and future telecommunications networks, and lobbied vigorously against UTOPIA during the recent legislative session, with some measure of success ..."

"Why not make Utah the leader? Three years ago a U.N. study ranked the United States fourth in telecommunications network speed. It has since fallen to 11th ..."


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