Comments about ‘UTOPIA is committed to building the future in the form of telecommunications infrastructure’

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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26 2013 2:35 p.m. MST

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VST
Bountiful, UT

With due respect to Mr. Pyle, I would argue he has a vested interest that does not allow him to be completely unbiased.

Why should those cities, who have invested their respective tax dollars in this failed project, continue to pour more of their tax dollars down that same rat-hole with no foreseeable reasonable return on their investment?

Pujols4mvp
Lehi, UT

It's probably useful to point out that Mr. Pyle is the city manager for West Valley City. He has a "vested interest" in serving his city, too.

VST
Bountiful, UT

@Pujols4mvp,

So what is you point? Is it that he is not biased simply because he is both Chairman of UTOPIA as well as the City Manager of West Valley City?

Pujols4mvp
Lehi, UT

I just don't want you or anyone else to think that UTOPIA is some private company or entity. UTOPIA is the cities that created it. The cities aren't flying blind here. They are in the details and know what is going on.

h0mieT
orem, UT

@VST Failure only happens when you give up. Yes Utopia started off poorly, but since 2008 they have made great strides under new management. Last year they were projected to be $3 million in the red and ended up only $8 thousand. This year they are projected to be in the green all year for operational support. They have a massive grass roots campaign under way to get more customers. If a majority of customers signed up in areas that already have Utopia we wouldn't be having this conversation. All this is an opposite of what you described as a 'rat-hole with no foreseeable reasonable return on their investment.'

Will this be easy in the near future. Probably not. But with hardwork comes great rewards. Other cities (like Spanish Fork) have proven that Fiber sponsored by a city can work very well.
We should be talking about what we can do to make this more successful. I have Utopia and was able to get 3 neighbors to sign up as well as save them money every month (and raise their home values).

I'm a Web Developer and couldn't tell you a better service than Utopia!

VST
Bountiful, UT

@h0mieT,

If what you say is true, then please explain why in recent decisions from city councils in Murray and Tremonton did they vote to deny more funds for UTOPIA?
[Re: Deseret News Article, "Do two 'no' votes to fund UTOPIA signal trouble for agency?" – 23 Feb 2013]

Is this one example where government entities should not be engaged in competing with private business? They appear to not do well in those circumstances.

Side Note: It is my understanding, we have some fiber installed here in Bountiful, and Bountiful did not join the UTOPIA consortium. I am certainly satisfied with my service.

h0mieT
orem, UT

If you really read this article you would know that Utopia said they can survive without it but they are looking out for cities. Pay less now or pay more over the long haul. It's up to the cities if they want to do this. People, like yourself, just keep seeing a narrow vision of government spending = bad.

It's also funny you think Utopia is the only company that uses tax payer money. Comcast and verizon have been given hundreds of millions from the states and federal government to build fiber networks over the past two decades. I have yet to see any of those networks even come close to what Utopia can offer.

side note: Comcast offers plans $20 less on my street because we have utopia and the streets that don't have Utopia pay $20 more. If anything Utopia is providing competition which was nonexistent before. Comcast/qwest also doesn't pay to use taxpayer's telephone poles in neighborhoods.

your side note: So you just proved that city sponsored fiber works. You love your fiber and it works great. Your city subsidies it. I'm happy for you.

h0mieT
orem, UT

Sorry I also need to get this off my chest. @VST if you live in a non utopia city why do you care about this article. It's doesn't affect you. It just bugs me that the state and other people who shouldn't be involved are trying to tell the cities what they have to do. This is like the federal government telling states what to do. Completely overreaching their boundaries. If the state undid all their regulations against Utopia (they sold out to comcast lobbyists) Utopia would have been revenue neutral by now.

VST
Bountiful, UT

@h0mieT,

You did not explain WHY Murray and Tremonton have told UTOPIA to "go pound sand" when UTOPIA asked for more money. Is that not a sign they are dissatisfied with UTOPIA's performance in protecting their initial investments and meeting their initial cost estimates for completion?

You also said, "It's also funny you think Utopia is the only company that uses tax payer money."

Where did I say that? Guess what – I never did, and furthermore, it is not funny. My point is UTOPIA has a history of not delivering what they promised on-time and within budget.

As for Bountiful, you assumed incorrectly – they did NOT subsidize installment of fiber optic cable with their own tax dollars. And of course, like Salt Lake City, chose not to initially join-in on the UTOPIA "experiment." Based upon UTOPIA's performance, they chose wisely and our current service is excellent.

For the sake of the invested communities, I would like to see UTOPIA be successful, but I will not bet the farm on it.

h0mieT
orem, UT

Murray and Tremonton have decided that they can't afford to give more money upfront right now to Utopia. That's fair. Budgets are tough right. They had to make cuts in other areas. I wouldn't refer to that as telling them to go pound sand.

As for the funny comment I just notice people get all bent out shape about Utopia and tax money when they are completely ignorant of other companies getting taxpayer money (your comments sound like those people). The government just does a better job of hiding those dollars from public eyes and is not easy for the everyday joe to understand how it works. I can assure you that your fiber is subsidies. It might not be upfront payments like Utopia. But more of tax breaks, free use of government property, etc to pay for at least the backbone part.

Utopia has a uphill battle. No one is hiding that. But there is a foreseeable future in Utopia. I see it. There accounting over the last few years show it. But sadly people will be stuck in their narrow mindlessness about the initial costs and the simple view of that any government is bad.

stuff
Provo, UT

I support Utopia and the innovation and progress that is being provided by the group.

I'm am appalled and saddened by those who would destroy the group and the project - especially those state senators and representatives that create laws after-the-fact to inhibit its success. Reminds me of Old Testament opposition to building the temple after the return of the Jews from Babylon. They are just stupid and destructive of something good. Help it thrive rather than destroy or even inhibit it!!!

watchman
Salt Lake City, UT

The residents and taxpayers of the member cities of UTOPIA have had many,many promises from UTOPIA but very little has been shown in keeping the promises.

I have no answer as to what is the best route to take now that they have invested so much and committed to the refinancing, but somewhere the taxpayer dollars must cease going into this black hole.

It looks Like Murray and Tremonton has finally said, "ENOUGH".

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