Comments about ‘Letter: Why UTOPIA?’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 11 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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cjb
Bountiful, UT

Utopia was a mistake. The phone and cable companies provide really fast service for a lot less money and no city bond is required. To bad the cities that got caught up in this did, but governments and people do make mistakes.

Bloodhound
Provo, UT

If I understand it correctly, there is no getting out of UTOPIA. At least, not without the involved cities being sued. In other words, the ship has left the dock and it's not coming back. You may be able to get it on the ballot, but even if the vote goes your way, the consequences from trying to get out of UTOPIA are not going to be pretty.

Steve Cottrell
Centerville, UT

My UTOPIA service is approximately 10 times the speed of what I was able to get from QWEST.

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

The idea behind Utopia is a often promoted by many. Everyone benefits from government built infrastructure, and no one is against paying for common services. The government would own the wires and internet providers would then all be able to compete in a very competitive free market. Unfortunately Qwest and Comcast didn't want to give up their monopoly control over their wires that they like owning. They would actually have to compete in price and service if they didn't own the wires.

It's sad that these two big corporations were allowed to stop a new system that all would benefit from.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The only thing businessmen like better than having a monopoly for their product is having the government force people to buy their product.

Utopia is only one of thousands of dubious schemes that rob the taxpayer and set up the conditions for municipal bankruptcy. The plan is simple. First you borrow the money making the taxpayer the recipient: only the taxpayer never sees the money except in the form of promises that seem to never pan out.

Next the businessmen spend the money, mostly on their own self enrichment and go bankrupt. However, using the P. T. Barnum philosophy, they may come back to the taxpayer again and again.

Meanwhile the taxpayer is on the hook for the bond payments which has a greater consequence for payment failure than not paying your tithing.

The next step is to blame the municipal employees, their unions and their pensions for the hardships The final step is when they ask the federal government to bail out the mess that the taxpayers have gotten themselves into.

trekker
Salt Lake, UT

Don't worry if Google Fiber is a success in the Provo area you can bet they will also add more areas. Utopia would have happened but they lost most of their money being sued by Comcast and Qwest who did not want more competition.

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

I admit to being an early proponent of UTOPIA. When it was first proposed and for at least 5 years afterward. However, partly because of recent personal experience working for a large government agency in California (one of the worst managed states in the union), I've become firmly convinced that the inherent monopolistic inefficiencies of government coupled with the corrupting effects of taxing authority are overwhelmingly counter productive and will, inevitably, doom efforts like that of UTOPIA.

As much as I would love to have the kind of high-speed Internet access that is the promise of UTOPIA in Sandy where I live, I must now bow to the very unfortunate but undeniable fact that they have failed to provide what was promised.

Furthermore, as the efforts by one of the best examples of the effectiveness of capitalistic free enterprise, Google, with its acquisition/merger of iProvo into its almost certainly superior GoogleFiber, will very likely provide yet another demonstration of how and why the private sector is **almost always** superior at providing **almost everything**.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

Government planned businesses notoriously do not do well. It is called central planning. Bureaucrats and legislators and city officials do the planning. It is better to let the free enterprise system do these things. Usually 2535% of city or any public employee group is redundant.

Crusader
Layton, UT

UTOPIA failed. Now it is your responsibility to find out which of your representatives voted/sponsored it and get them out of office.

happy2bhere
clearfield, UT

The experience we've had is that Utopia is much faster than regular service. We've had it for about 3 years. Hopefully the cable/satellite companies are faster now than then, as we are moving to an area where there is no Utopia and we need the fastest internet service for our business. Dial up just won't cut it.

Fitz
Murray, UT

@Bloodhound, You are correct when you say it will not be pretty to get of UTOPIA. But there are ways out. Some of the cities have already said no more funding for operational costs. They continue to pay their share of the bonds committed to until such time the opted not to approve of more bonds.

The way out is to sale the existing system. All the switches, installed fiber & other related telecommunications equipment would be sold, along with any of the current users. The funds from the sale would go towards a payment on the bonds (allocating them would be tricky), with the cities left to pay for the remainder of the debt (again allocating the remaining debt would be tricky.) It would be ugly, but it is the best way out and, from my perspective, should be actively pursued.

@Steve Cottrell, unless you are sending and receiving extremely large files, the need for the speed you have is excessive and is a marketing ploy. Just because it is faster does not mean that it is worth the cost. The need for such speed for most Internet users is adequate with what the local cable and phone companies offer.

mcdugall
Murray, UT

@Fitz. So you are suggesting taxpayers, specifically Murray residents, eat a 60+ million dollar loss to sell the network to Google? That is state sponsored cooperate welfare. The current situation is not favorable for residents, but lets remain rational agents and not rush to any judgements, and evaluate all possible models to help reduce the financial burden/risk to residents.

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