samhill: Google Fiber requires similar guarantees of enough customers to make it
worthwhile. The difference is that Google usually starts fresh with people
excited, and builds to a neighborhood when a large enough percentage sign up to
make it work. They also usually require public subsidies for the buildout, if
only forcing other utilities to let Google use their poles.The
Macquarie proposal seems like a good opportunity to use what has been started
and make it work. The "sunk cost" so far isn't sunk--it still has
to be paid for whether it is used or not. Why not use it?
clairc829: Who is responsible for basic infrastructure like the road to your
house? It would have made my libertarian heart happy if a private enterprise had
stepped up to the plate and provided this without government aid, but it just
isn't economical without enough people signing up, or a utility bill such
as this proposes.
Shawnm750: Precisely. Once the Comcast/CenturyLink duopoly have real competition
they will start offering people some real service at realistic prices. Most
likely, as was mentioned earlier, using the UTOPIA fiber. Comcast prices go down
where there is someone else's fiber.
"But they might want to think back a decade or more and ask themselves how
practical this scheme for social improvement has proven itself to be."I'm not necessarily a proponent or opponent of UTOPIA. However, I
have to wonder how many comments of this type were made when electricity came to
town years ago. Do you realize what it did to the kerosene lamp industry? ;)
I love my UTOPIA lightning fast internet. 60 GB up and down. $39 a month.
Incredible. People don't know what they are missing.
Will taxes really go up over time in those cities that have fiber optic
internet? I don't think so, because cities that have Google Fiber or
Utopia will attract more and more businesses and residents with lots of money
who will want to live and work there, because they'll be able to get things
done much faster with fiber optic internet, which will lead to lower taxes.Places with fiber optic internet available to every home will be the
richest places in the world! Many fought water & sewer utility lines being
put in many years ago, because they didn't realize how much it would
benefit their communities. I hope enough people will begin to see how fiber
optic internet will benefit their communities.
As much as I would **love** to have the Internet accessibility promised by this
proposal, the idea of having a mandatory tax/fee thrills me no more than the
current mandatory tax/fee of Obamacare, and for the same reason. It is yet
another encroachment on the realm of free enterprise and our general freedoms as
citizens/human beings.In other words, it is another assault on
freedom, something I love much more than even an inexpensive and fast Internet
connection.There simply MUST be a better way of accomplishing the
same thing via the free market. While Google is fast approaching the scope,
influence and possibly even power of a government, their moves into this arena
seem to be done without the draconian effect of a mandatory tax/fee. Any chance
of Google Fiber stepping in?
Fiber optic is a wonderful way for internet to be delivered. The problem is it
is not the cities responsibility to install and pay for it, never should have
gotten involved. Member cities should cut their losses and run as fast as
possible away, before they spend more of our dollars on something that will not
work and is probably illegal, even for cities to do(charge for a service whether
you use it or not). If the city managers were spending their money and not ours
they would never have signed up for Utopia.
What happens when a city opts into UTOPIA and later, after a lawsuit determines
that it is unconstitutional to force its residents to pay the monthly fee/tax
(whatever)? UTOPIA will be able to collect their fees from that city based on
the contract, just like is happening in some of the cities, such as Lindon.
There go more taxes out the window. This is scary. I wonder if UTOPIA has
alreadu figured this out and is hoping some of the cities will bite on their
offer. The more who do, the more money they will walk away with - and still no
darthschmoo, while it's true that a fully functional UTOPIA internet
service would be a better option than those being offered by private companies,
what about those users already locked into contracts with Comcast or
CenturyLink? They would either be forced to pay for both services, or pay a
hefty cancellation fee. Not to mention that those services will probably come
out with some enticing offers to keep member-city residents from dropping them.
I doubt anyone under the age of forty can think of Internet service as a
"luxury," and $15-$20/month for basic Internet service is hardly
unreasonable, especially for fiber optics that are easily a hundred times faster
than cable or DSL.I'm looking at prices right now. CenturyLink
wants $65/month, Xfinity (which used to be Comcast, until they realized that
"Comcast" had become synonymous with "awful service, slow
speed") wants $80/month (and wants to tie you into a bunch of TV channels
you don't use). And don't even bother with mobile carriers. T-Mobil
wants $50/month for a 7GB/month plan. You can get 7GB downloaded in a couple of
minutes even on a bare-bones UTOPIA connection.Fiber optics is
21st-century infrastructure. If you have a better idea for bringing this
technology to Utah, let's hear it. But if you think we can skate by on the
antiquated, slow, expensive offerings of Xfinity, CenturyLink, or , you need to
Henry Drummond: No, it wouldn't put other providers "out of
business." The most likely result if UTOPIA is successful: Comcast and
CenturyLink would offer their services over UTOPIA, in competition against the
other service providers which would spring up, all using UTOPIA as their
underlying infrastructure.But Comcast and CenturyLink would rather
stick with the existing system, where virtually everyone in the Salt Lake Valley
has to choose between the two, because it's prohibitively expensive to lay
new wires. Wireless is an option, of course, but not a great one. Wireless
will never be able to compete with fiber optic on speed.
I'm surprised at how many public officials are impressed by the
"pro-forma income statement." This is typically a computer generated
report that shows expected income from a project. Usually its presented by
somebody who intones those magic words "and these figures are conservative -
actual income will probably be much higher." Those who have been in the
business world have a word for "pro-forma income statements." I
won't mention that word since this is a family newspaper.I'm not sure how you salvage this project. If you look at it, the plan
the new company has come up with would put other providers out of business
because people don't want to pay twice for Internet Service.
Just say no.I'm highly doubtful Utopia will EVER be operational
enough to even get to the break-even point.WHY keep throwing good
money after bad?Its' pretty easy for the city leaders with
their 6 figure incomes to commit ALL of us to $20.00 per month - for life,
isn't it.Utopia is big mistake.
This concept of a city requiring residents to pay, even if they do not use the
fiber from UTOPIA is flat wrong. It has been, and continues to be, a failure.
It has emptied the pockets of citizens with no real success in reaching its
intended goals. It is way past time that UTOPIA was buried.With the
vote last election in Orem to not allow anymore taxes to support UTOPIA, what
will the City Council and citizens do with this overreach fee?
When a businessman sells a product that he doesn't deliver he should be
forced by government to refund the money to the buyer. Failing to do so should
result in incarceration in criminal prison. Our national government in its role
of protector of the general population should guarantee this for every sub
government in the United States of America.