Comments about ‘IProvo losses lead to big review’

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City hires 2 consultants to help stanch cash flow

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 4 2007 12:20 a.m. MST

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Former Provoan

Unfortunately, before iProvo was launched, when Provo asked "business" to provide minimal broadband to the city both Qwest and cable said no--they would only provide it to the affluent neighborhoods. So if the Utah Taxpayers Association were to have their way, only the rich get high-speed access. This doesn't excuse mismanagement but don't trash the idea that everyone should have equal access to the internet just like access to electricity (like another Provo utility that "competes" with business.)

Andrea

Former Provoan is typical Utah socialist who thinks he's a conservative.

Prior to iProvo, it wasn't just the rich that were getting broadband in Provo.

If this were about the non-rich getting broadband, then iProvo would have more subscribers by now and it would not be losing money because so many non-rich people would be subscribing to iProvo's providers' services.

Besides, iProvo supporters said that the project would MAKE profits, not lose money.

It will be very interesting to watch the ways Billings will try to justify even more transfers from the general fund to cover iProvo's loses.

I live in a city without socialist broadband, and it's not just the rich that get broadband.

Max

I am one who tried iprovo with both providers and left both. The problem is that the phone service is too unreliable. Not a week would go by that the phone was down at some point. People would be trying to reach us and couldn't get through. Important messages were never received and this sometimes caused major problems. Nor could we call out. What if there had been an emergency. Thank goodness for cell phones!!! It was just too dangerous and too costly to have the phone be so unreliable. The TV and internet were fine though. I am looking forward to seeing who the new providers are. Maybe I will give it another shot.

Concerned Citizen

I hear its actually much worse than they are willing to talk about since the service providers are not paying their obligations to Provo. It's great service but the day to day management needs an overhaul.

iProvo Supporter

iProvo was a good idea 5 years ago and its still a good idea today. The telecom monopolies have been relentless in undermining municipal fiber projects like iProvo and locally these efforts have forced the city to revise their plans. But iProvo has already delivered on one of its initial promises -- to make available high-speed telecom services to all of the cities residents and businesses at affordable rates. Provo city will continue to refine its business model and adapt and over time the iProvo project will continue to deliver its promised benefits.

For private business

So the solution to 'Former Provoan' is to incentivize Qwest or Comcast to provide a telecommunications network to Provo residents.

Several wireless providers are willing to provide FREE wireless Internet to city residents in exchange for placing wireless antennas on city buildings to "blanket" the area.

iProvo and Utopia are mistake projects undertaken by government because they don't understand business or customer service. (It is likely the drop rate is a combination of customer service, limits placed on the private providers, and cost of service)

New Subscriber

For what its' worth, I moved to Provo specifically because of the great internet access I am able to get through iProvo. Over the (very) long term, iProvo will turn out to be a good investment for the city.

Stacey

Does the other Provo utility "compete" with business? No, they have a monopoly. If the only way to have internet access in Provo was through iProvo, then iProvo would have the number of subscribers that it nees to survive. Of course it could then charge the rates that would allow it to survive not the rates it has to charge to be competitive. At present, the other options for broadband are sufficent and competitive so people are not beating down the door to iProvo. There is a reason that private business was not willing to bring fiber to the door in Provo. There is no profit in it yet, as the victims in Provo are finding.

Former iProvo Cable user

I subscribe to iProvo Internet, and phone, but turned off my cable service because frankly, the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) was horrible when compared to my Dish Network DVR which I turned off to make the switch.
Until providers decide to compete in quality and price with the comcasts and satellite providers, the churn rate will continue to increase.
GET BETTER DVR'S and I'll sign up again!

Current iProvo Subscriber

It takes time to stabalize these kind of massive infrastructure projects, but the city is moving the right direction. I believe that Provo will narrow the losses in the comming years. If you ask iProvo subscribers, the outstanding speed of the internet is a real hit and positions the city, businesses and residents for cutting-edge applications. We should be wary of comments from the Utah Tax-Payers Association as a front for Qwest. I urge the council to work with the administration to make the project a success.

Higher taxes

"one strategy is to have city departments pay more for the benefits they get from iProvo". I would like to know if the city departments are paying less or more for their services due to iProvo. That is, how much will the city departments be paying for their services under iProvo, and how much would they pay for the same level of services if iProvo didn't exist. Finally, I'd like to know if the city departments really need the level of services provided by iProvo.

Jesse Harris

I was at the meeting and was appalled to learn that iProvo was not given anything for services provided to other city departments. In other words, they have been doing the accounting as if they expected subscribers to subsidize the city's own network usage. I'm dumbfounded that they would setup the books like that and I'm glad to hear that they're going to change it up so that city departments will actually be paying iProvo for their usage. That will probably cause a drastic change in the financial picture.

Miss Synthia Forsyth

They deserve their losses for having hopped on the I-whatever bandwagon.

Matt

iProvo is not competing with anyone but the big expensive cable and telephone networks. Remember that the city simply provides the infrastructure and BUSINESSES provide the service. As more providers come on board with iProvo competition will increase, as the article says and, prices will go down and service will go up. It is a win win. If you know anything about business you'll know it takes time to become profitable, same with iProvo. It'll take time, but it will be good for everyone.

iProvo will fail

If there is a profit to be made, or a respectable ROI, businesses will pursue it. If government gets involved, it will be a mess. You now have a mayor and public officials making decisions competitive business managers must make--how to make a business profitable. That's not why they were elected (for their business savvy). Unless Provo is willing to subsidize this venture indefinitely, it will certainly fail. I give it two more years of life and after huge losses, citizens will demand its termination. disclosure: I live in Springville, have no ax to grind, but have some business background (not qwest or any other iProvo connection) in the Internet/Telecommunications industry.

Socialist

Maybe they should use a similar idea and open a hundred gas stations, that way the non-rich can have access to gasoline. Provo could also franchise a Wal-Mart to ensure access to cheap chinese goods. Most importantly they need to start their own newspaper to ensure the citizens have access to the news. And of course, Provo is not served by many adult bookstores, so the government should open one or two of those as well.

It Is Time

It is utterly amazing to me. iProvo has all the things it needs to be successful, except leadership. In the real world, "private sector," when management's poor decisions cause a company to spiral the Board of Directors, (In this instance the TelComm Board and Provo Citizens) demand they "resign" and bring someone in who can run the company. Billings and Garlick have made poor decisions from the start of this new "corporation," iProvo, and for some reason they are still managing the show. They can't even get the providers to pay their bills to Provo City. They talk the big talk but they have never made any changes to bring this boondoggle around. When are is the board and the shareholders (citizens) going to demand the one thing that has to be done to make sure iProvo is a success?

K

Customer service is a problem. I left MSTAR because the phone was too unreliable, but I thought I would give it another shot (hoping they have fixed the phone by now) because I like the TV (lots of local stuff plus MTN) Well, I emailed them at the address on their website and asked what it would cost to come back. That was a month ago and NO RESPONSE!!!

happy iprovo citizen

don't you think that instead of complaining and criticizing it would be better to get behind the city now that we do have iprovo and support what is already there for us. We know that comcast and qwest and george stewart all have an agenda in mind with their constant barrage of telling us it won't work. If the majority of provo citizens would support i provo, it would certainly keep us from tax increases in the future. quit tearing down and let's help with our support. we love our mstarmetro tv and computer service. they are always bend over backwards to help us with any problems. i can't say that for comcast or qwest.
com on provo, let's make it work!!!!

billings for mayor not

peolpe continue to endorse billings for mayor despite is failure with the iprovo project it has everything to do with understandinf business and billings would understand that if he really took those classes at byu that he lied about in the last election race and people continue to ignore the problems that will manifest themselves again as it gets cold this winter down time for the internet and phone becasue of the optics breaking in the cold i have considered iprovo 3 times but continue to get the same feedback internet faster then comcast but to much downtime on a weekly basis same thing with phone so the issue is bigger then billings continue to say the problem continues to be the infra structure and the mistakes during construction and laying of the fiber lines

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