With the exception of Perry's pro-Macquarie vote Thursday evening, cities that delayed their decisions until the final days of the deadline window elected to opt out of the proposal.
Van Tassell said cities that engaged in the most public outreach and education on the issues surrounding UTOPIA were largely skeptical of the utility fee proposal. But he added there was also a widespread concern about adding to the debt obligations of a network that has consumed taxpayer dollars for a decade.
"I think there is a growing, even surging sense, that the cities never should have gotten into this in the first place and that the smarter play is to stop digging a debt hole and instead take your lumps," he said. "The risks have been taken and let's just see what we can do to get out of this."
Orem resident and UTOPIA customer Jeremy Bowers said he left his Thursday City Council meeting disappointed because he wants the network to succeed, but also optimistic that city leaders are interested in finding solutions that allow UTOPIA to continue.
"After listening to all the Council people have their share, I feel like they’re not going to let the fiber die," he said. "They wanted to keep it and find some way to build it out, but they weren’t sure about this (utility fee) proposal."
He also said that results from an Orem survey showed more than 70 percent opposition to charging a mandatory utility fee for Internet connectivity.
"With those kinds of numbers I can understand why they would vote no," he said.
Carl Woldberg, a UTOPIA customer living in Centerville, said he's worried about the future of the network if cities pass on Macquarie.
He said he would be willing to pay double or even four times his current Internet bill in order to keep his fiber optic service, and he trusts that his city leaders will find a way to keep the network running.
"My gut feeling tells me that the people that run Centerville are smart enough to know that it makes no sense to let the network actually go dark," he said. "That’s my gut feeling, but my gut feeling was Centerville would vote to move forward with Milestone 2 and Macquarie, so I was wrong there."
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