Published: Sunday, Aug. 11 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT
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.
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.
My UTOPIA service is approximately 10 times the speed of what I was able to get
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.
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.
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.
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**.
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.
UTOPIA failed. Now it is your responsibility to find out which of your
representatives voted/sponsored it and get them out of office.
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.
@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.
@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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