Comments about ‘My view: UTOPIA has flaws and needs reform’

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Published: Thursday, Aug. 23 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Lindon, UT

What you fail to mention is the reason why UTOPIA was created in the first place. Communities such as Lindon begged Qwest and Comcast to provide service to our city, and they would not. Once UTOPIA was formed, they finally entered the market and provided services.

Yes UTOPIA has problems, and yes they need to be addressed. However, the presence of UTOPIA keeps costs down for everyone. While Rep. Daw may not see any differences in prices, check around the country -- in other areas prices are much higher, and UTOPIA is definitely having an impact.

Orem, UT

Brad is doing the right thing by stepping up and helping people to understand that what was right at one time has become a mess due to mismanagement. UTOPIA, in concept, is a great idea. A project that can fund itself (in theory), stimulate business growth, and lower utility costs for residents, it a great idea. The management of the project, and the complete lack of direction from our city council has allowed a good thing to become very bad, and burdensome. The directors seem to fail to grasp the needs of the end consumer. People don't want to pay $3,000 to have a line go to their house. People don't want a lien on their house. People don't want to sign a two year commitment for internet. If these ideas were taken into account, and the project planned correctly up front it may have worked. If, If, If... It didn't work, and now the city council is raising our taxes to cover their mistakes!!! Poor job by the city of Orem. I hope that the council members are not reelected when their time comes.

Lead Farmer

Rep. Daw's flip-flopping on this issue, and his inconsistent voting record in general, explains why he was voted out of office in this year's Republican primary.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Why is government and this private business even in the same bed? I'm sure bought off politicians can always find multiple reasons for these types of projects.

Let businesses that want to put in fiber wire and high tech Internet construct what they want... But make sure they (and their customers) pay for it.

I'm an Orem resident and wonder how the heck I'm left footing the bill for a product/service I'll never use? If I really wanted this, I will have waited for Google Fiber to come. They'll provide this service at a better price and probably better quality anyway.

Folks like Brad Daw always find a way to pass their pet projects along (and receive wonderful rewards errr "campaign contributions" from private businesses) and folks like me are left footing the bill.

Why do we put up with this nonsense?

orem, UT

Brad. No mention of price/performance? A little disingenuous?

From the article: "Here are a few: If not for UTOPIA, CenturyLink and Comcast would be many people's only option. In Orem, I have a choice of not only CenturyLink and Comcast, but I can also choose from Digis, UtahBroadBand and FiberNet." ......

1) Century link DSL $45 5Mb/s; Digis shared wireless $35 5Mb/s; UtahBroadBand shared wireless $99 20mb/s, Fibernet DSL $10/m 256kb/s, Comcast shared coax $63 20Mb/s, Utopia fiber $45-60 25Mb/s $50-65 50Mb/s.....

2) All "shared" bandwidth claims are max, when your neighbors are on vacation or asleep. My Comcast shared 20 degrades to 5 in the evening hours.

3) Only Comcast and Utopia offer TV.

4) So yes, lots of alternatives if you can live with 5Mb/s or less in prime time. In our home, it is not unusual to have two Netflix TVs and 3 computers on the internet at the same time in the evening.

orem, UT

Do I mind that Orem taxes subsidize Utopia. On the one hand yes. I can't get Utopia. I can understand why others don't like paying for something they can't get. On the other hand I never use the rec center, library, senior citizens center .... lots of other things I am paying for other than Utopia I never use...

Brad, have you ever accepted money in any form (e.g. campaign donations, etc) from Comcast/Centurylink or their friends? Just asking. For the record I have no connection to Orem City or Utopia. Just a simple Orem city taxpayer.

Lehi, UT

@The Real Maverick

UTOPIA isn't a private business. It's an interlocal government agency, created by the cities that wanted a fiber network. Somehow, many people haven't yet figured that out.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"UTOPIA isn't a private business."

And that's exactly the problem. Mixing stuff that should be private business is wrong. It's completely against what I thought our supposed "conservative" leaders stood for.

If you want fiber nonsense, then pay for it.

Leave government to take out the trash and give us water.

The rest of the stuff such as Internet stuff, let citizens decide as CUSTOMERS of PRIVATE BUSINESS whether they want it or not.

orem, UT

I asked Brad Daw in a comment if he had ever accepted money in any form from Comcast et al. Since he chose not to deny it I'm going to postulate we may have the following situation.

1) Comcast has given money to one or more Utah legislators representing Orem taxpayers.

2) These legislators have helped pass laws damaging Utopia's ability to grow the subscriber base.

3) Orem taxpayers now have to subsidize Utopia (pay the bond interest) since subscriber growth has not yet achieved the level necessary to break even.

4) Comcast is using it's monopoly profits to block serious threats to it's monopoly.

Do we have any Comcast people out there that can respond?

Salt Lake City, UT

Why can't comcast and century link come on board with Utopia and use the fiber optics thus providing better service to their customers rather than fight them causing local taxes to go up and continue their sub-par service?

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