Now Billings is saying Broadweave is the most qualified of those who offered to
buy iProvo. How ridiculous is that. They have less than 1000 cutomers. They have
less than 30 video customers. Their customers are compelled to use them by HOAs.
They don't have any competitive experience. The word is that one of the offers
came from Dynamic Cities who operates the Utopia network. I guess the mayor sees
that as a lesser experience, but that is completely absurd. So on goes the
absurdity of Provo City leadership. Come on council. Reign this in before it is
I think it's pretty safe to say that Lewis Billings job is on the line over this
debacle. I will be amazed if this guy gets re-elected next time around.The good old boy network is alive and well in Provo. It's time for a
change of the guard in Provo. The council could use a good cleansing too.
This is not the first, second, or even the third time that Lewis has
"partnered with the private sector" with disastrous results. He was
first of all, "emotionally invested" in getting an Olympic venue. The resulting
deal gave Max Rabner control over a publically-owned, SLOC-built, recreation
facility. The "partnership" with US Steel at Ironton, and now
ActionTarget, again funds public infrastructure for private gain.
Larry Mendenhall, of Million-Air, has a virtual monopoly on the city-owned
airport. Two different companies have attempted to run, and profit
from, the municipal golf course. Lewis keeps making these deals, and
touts them as good for the city. But they are, in fact, a form of corporate
welfare. Lewis has to realize that these are bad ideas, IN PRINCIPLE.
Government is not in business, it's in service. And if he must raise taxes to
adequately fund public services, then so be it. These "deals" never work out.
Well, now you see Lewis's greatest achievement becoming his worst failure. Sad,
but he could have stopped this long before it started. See, he understood the
assumptions that the business model and costs for I-provo were built upon. The
citizen's committee that worked on this did too--and it wasn't based on a city
providing a wholesale network to retail providers. They based it on being able
to be both wholesaler and retailer of the product. But the state legislature
caved in to Qwest and comcast and said no to cities retailing product. But
Lewis never bothered to take i-provo back to the citizens committee, or explain
to the council how the change in law would change the finances. He was too
emotionally invested to stop it. Then problems start popping up right and left,
the competitors (wisely) react by lowering prices, and Lewis's great legacy
becomes his albatross. He can't hang this one on the Council or anyone else.
It was all his ego.
I cant help but think that this back room deal is a big mistake. It couldnt have
happened to a more poorly run city unless that city was Sandy.
Broadweave has a total of 5-7 employees, and this way more than doubles their
customer base. Probably close to a factor of 10 (I doubt they have more than
1000 current customers).Good luck provo residents...
I can't believe that Provo's Mayor can act this way! First, he sneaks out a deal
behind closed doors without letting some major potential buyers know. It makes
you wonder if he got something under the table. Also, to claim that the pressure
from all sides to privatize didn't factor into the decision to sell iProvo is
just an outright lie! Billings resisted forever selling his iProvo project but
finally saw the light. I'd like to see the final number on the loss of funds
that Provo residents had to pay for this blunder! This Mayor has been nothing
but a disappointment to Provo. He does whatever he wants and can't admit when he
makes a mistake. Why does Provo continue to put up with him?
I'm really curious to know how big Broadweave is. From what I can tell it's not
exactly a big player. Does this purchase double their customer base or more?
This sounds a lot like HomeNet to me.Remember how great HomeNet was?
They were an "established player", but iProvo was such a big deal for them that
they moved headquarters to run it. Then they crashed and burned.Of
course, Broadweave has big money behind it. It's totally different. Never mind
that the big money isn't putting up any cash for this deal. Big money knows how
to jump at a no-risk opportunity.If XMission wants to get in on the
same terms, I'd give it to XMission. At least they're a truly established
company. They actually make money.
I'm sorry, but with this deal Provo isn't getting out of the technology
business. Provo is handing over the upside of a technology business to private
individuals, while keeping the downside for itself. In return it doesn't even
get a vote on the board of directors.This is like selling my house
to someone after I worked to fix it up by letting them pay on my mortgage. They
can sell the house and keep the profit, or trash the house and walk away.
Either way I'm screwed.Why is Provo doing this? iProvo has been a
political nightmare. The politicians just want the media to stop beating them
up. Anything to stop the pain.
They did the right thing selling the business. We elect people to govern the
city, not to be on the Board of Directors of a technology company. It's a whole
different skill and interest set.Government should not be running
businesses on the side.
Another back door deal, negotiated in secret. Is this the only way Provo can do
business? What about public input? What about an open and fair bidding process.
This is just more stench. Go away Billings and Garlick. What about the several
million lost in subsidized operational budgets for iProvo. They lost over $10
million dollars for the city in addition to the $40 million still at risk. Now
they cannot even pay for a cost of living raise for their employees.Talk
about bad management! They should hide there head in shame.
Let's see. I get to take over this business that borrowed money at government
rates, is finished with the buildout, and has over 10,000 customers. I don't
have to refinance in my own name. I just have to cover a $2M annual shortfall
until I can figure out how to make it profitable?How long until
those retailer contracts are up? 1 year? And then I can refuse to renew and
get the customers for myself? Hmmm - total pricing power.And if I
screw up I didn't put any real skin in the game - the city has to pick up the
pieces and keep paying the debt.Nobody else knows about this deal,
right? Any chance we can sign the papers before the press release?
drjonessays, Why would you doubt Broadweave's viability. They are a
huge company with a strong history in telecommunications. Oh wait, no they're
not. They're actually smaller than any of the previous iProvo
providers. They are not yet profitable. They only survive on venture capital
money. They only have a handful of customers in north Lehi, and a tiny group in
St. George. Sounds like Homenet, Mstar, Nuvont, (but worse). Keep
in mind, they aren't paying 40M, they're just agreeing to start paying the bond
payments towards the 40M. When they fail, Provo will have to bail them out and
take over the rest of the debt. This seems like a short sighted attempt by
Billings to get re-elected.
Ashdown is a sore loser. His conflict of interest makes him a poor critic.
Good job, Mayor Billings. You lied to the residents of Provo for months while
the city continued to do nothing to fix the network. This gross mismanagement of
city assets to reach a pre-determined conclusion is shameful at best. Not only
will you abandon iProvo's guiding principle of creating a new competitive
platform for multiple telecommunications companies, you're also going to sell
the network for a lot less than was paid for it. Good job, mayor, for doing what
was politically expedient instead of what was right for the city. I can only
hope that you and the council will pay for it in 2009.
The speed tests might show very high speeds, both up and down. But, the reality
is that you only get 300k-1mb per second. It's very rare that you really get to
use 10mbp/s in real life. Pete Ashdown is showing his liberal nature
by all the whining he's doing. If he didn't understand the rfp, too bad for him.
I doubt that xmission would have succeeded on iprovo, anyway. I certainly
wouldn't have subscribed to it. I'm very glad that he's not the new owner of
as a network engineer the "desperation attempts" by mstar and any other
providers to give a googalbit connection to the web is unrealistic. Mstar did
all other service providers in the United States a major injustice by trying to
provide speeds that were so astronomically pointless, they thought people would
jump in their boat, obviously that didnt happen. There is a reason why qwest
and comcast are still actually "OPERATING", its because they are realistic....as
a network engineer who does this for a living and knows what the equipment is
capable of, I also know there are very basic business fundamentals that citizens
need to recognize and understand in this type of industry. 50 Megs to the web is
like giving you a Dodge Viber to climb the Timpanogos Mtn trail.
Does Broadweave know that they are buying bad fiber? There are miles of fiber
on the network that just quit working when it gets cold. Provo tried a band-aid
approach for the last couple of years to mitigate this. Poorly manufactured
fiber was poorly installed. Bad combination. Bonus phrase of the day: fiber
What was not announced is that this sale is financed by the owner (Provo City).
Provo gets to keep the bond as is. So far, every entity that has entered a
contractual relationship with Provo has at one point in time failed to meet it's
financial obligations to the city. Homenet, Atlantic Engineering Group, Mstar,
Veracity have all had their "low moments." Nuvont has never has a contract with
Provo City and therefore has never had to meet it's financial obligations,
because it never had any. All this just means that when Broadweave
fails to make payments to Provo, Provo is back in the telecom business.
The ONLY reason I have stayed with iProvo this long is the upload speed. If
Broadweave is going to change that model, I'm going right back to Comcast. They
had more reliable phones anyway.I will be watching for the
"announcements" in the coming weeks regarding the offering that Broadweave will
be presenting to the good citizens of Provo.The reason iProvo was
built was to offer the citizens of Provo a choice. Now that Provo city
Utilities has mismanaged this pig to the point that they have to sell it to a
private company that will NOT offer a choice, I may have to rethink the whole
fiber to the home issue. Why didn't this get sold to UTOPIA? They just
refinianced...and they could have afforded it? At least by selling it to UTOPIA
we would still have choices.THIS IS A LOSE LOSE DEAL AND BILLINGS
SHOULD BE RECALLED OVER THIS DEBACLE! (actually the only one that appears to win
is Billings because the council will finally be off his back)
If this is the first time Xmission has heard of the sale, this was not a public
sale. Why not? Are they trying to "cut and run" quickly and quietly, to avoid
further criticism of public money used badly. And here we go again. My guess is
Provo got far less than it might. Why didn't they open it up for public bidding,
getting the best price possible? They made a big mistake in putting in the
system at tax payer expense, and will not admit it. And now they have sold it
without competing bids to get the best price, a terrible mistake to hide their
"There is now only one company who can provide that service in Provo."Well, there was only one company before! iProvo was the only fiber optic
network in the city, and it still is. In fact, the reason the city built iProvo
is that private companies wouldn't do it. If this is a monopoly, then Qwest and
Comcast deserve it. They should have hopped on board before, rather than fight
agaisnt superior technology.
Provo got "worked" on that one. Nice job building it to do a back door deal on
the sale for the same amount. Just announce it's for sale to the highest bidder
and see what happens. Where's Bernie Ebbers when you need him?
I'm a current Mstar customer that takes advantage of the iProvo network. We pay
$40/mo for 15 mbs download and upload speeds (the upload is rarely that fast,
though, as i regularly check speedtest.net). Our telephone services are
completely Skype-based (we bought Skype handsets, so it's like have a normal
phone). What happens to my service? I thought this was an infrastructure that
different providers could take advantage of. Now, it's going to be handed over
to someone that, according to their website, offers 10 Mbps downloads and 1 Mbps
uploads. I regularly get faster than that on my 'basic' service already (if
I'd've lived in Orem, Mstar would've given me 50 Mbps for the same price, but
iProvo restricts what speeds are allowed). So what do I do now? I'm going to
lose my provider and, on the same network, pay more for less. Thanks, Provo.
No other technology can compare to fiber. There is now only one company who can
provide that service in Provo.
Ashdown must be dumbing down the term monopoly because this "monopoly" will be
competing against Qwest, Comcast, and wireless. Counting the "monopoly" itself,
that's four companies.
What? No mention about Billings goint to West Jordan with Broadweave Networks?