PROVO Despite a few "bumps," Mayor Lewis Billings said indicators show Broadweave Networks is turning iProvo around since the company took over the network.
For starters, Billings said Tuesday, South Jordan-based Broadweave made its initial payment of $268,142, as well as its August payment, on time. And the company has already signed up more than 230 subscribers since July 1 the day after Provo and Broadweave reached a modified closing to sell the network for $40.6 million. In the months leading up the iProvo sale, the system experienced heavy subscriber losses.
"We've seen that turn around," Billings said. "There are a lot of indicators that (Broadweave is) stepping up."
Broadweave representatives declined to confirm the number Billings reported, but said they have experienced growth since taking control of the network.
That isn't to say the transition of iProvo, which provides Internet, video and phone services via fiber-optic network, has been seamless. Several hundred iProvo customers lost voice, video and data services when several major aerial lines near Timpview High School were severed in late July.
Then many former Mstar customers couldn't access their e-mail last week. Broadweave spokesman Clayton Blackham said they sent out multiple e-mail messages a month ago notifying customers to switch accounts, but some customers missed the boat, and their e-mail was shut down.
"For one reason or another, I guess a few people were left out of the loop," Blackham said.
Blackham said they've reopened the e-mail accounts until the Aug. 15 to give customers more time to get their e-mail addresses switched over.
Billings said he's impressed with how Broadweave handled the situation. But Provo resident Carl Pope, who had to endure through both the severed cable and e-mail shutdown, said he got the run around when he called Broadweave and Mstar.
"Everyone pointed the finger, and nobody wanted to take the blame," he said.
Eventually, the problems were sorted out. Pope said he's a "happy camper," but for a while, he felt he was hung out to dry.
"I realize that during a transition problems can occur and problems do occur," he said. "I had anticipated this, but they were a bit more severe than I had expected."
Aside from the glitches, there are a few questions that remain unanswered. City Council members still wonder what will happen with Nuvont Communications, and if Sorenson Capital will go through with an investment into Broadweave.
Billings said city administrators are keeping an eye on those issues, but he's confident they will be resolved.
Though Billings said the sale has turned out well for the city, some City Council members still have a bitter taste in their mouth from how the process played out. City Councilwoman Sherrie Hall Everett said they were given reams of information just before the council meeting where they approved the iProvo sale. And she said she wants to improve communication between the mayor and council during future sales processes.
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