The ambitious proposal promises to finish in 30 months the decades-delayed "build out" of the fiber-optic network in the 11 Utah cities that own it.
The plan would lay, or string, 1,608 miles of fiber-optic cable to connect 160,000
Roughly half of the lines will be strung above ground, the rest buried, the plan says, available in its entirety on the network's gofiberutah.org website..
The project has been subjected to delays and controversy since its 1990s inception, while the member cities continued pouring millions into the uncompleted network.
Macquarie came forward in December as the expected savior with deep pockets, immediately announcing it was prepared to invest
In a packed city council chamber in
The UTOPIA proposal was released Tuesday, the same day Macquarie held the first of three meetings with UTOPIA's member cities. Tuesday's meeting was in
Ramage promised Wednesday night that the fully realized fiber optic network would trigger competitors Comcast and
Revenues would reach a billion dollars in 30 years, he said, more than enough to pay off the fiber network's debt born by the bonding of the member cities. Member cities are paying off the 25-year notes out of taxes instead of subscriber fees,
UTOPIA agnostics Brigham Mayor
The city recently appointed a task force to evaluate its future with UTOPIA.
Their questions centered on how citizens could "opt out" of membership in UTOPIA, and the treatment of residents currently paying
To be negotiated as part of the Macquarie contract with the cities, and discounts, were the answers, respectively, from Ramage.
Some who have UTOPIA liens on their property tied to connection fees will see those lifted, Ramage said, and the plan expects no more connection fees.
Ramage said cities would control the project in that, "If we don't perfom like we say we will, you kick us out and we lose our investment." The crowd numbered some 75-plus, largely made up of city officials from UTOPIA-owning cities
Ramage's presentation and the questions that followed made for a highly technical and complex discussion lasting approximately two hours.
Member cities now have 60 days to review the proposal before taking it to respective city councils for a vote. The plan calls for utility fees currently projected at
He said yes when Cronin asked if that was negotiable.
To questions about the possibility fiber-optics might become obsolete within a few years in the fast-changing information technology world, leaving UTOPIA a multimillion-dollar white elephant, Ramage said "fiber-optics are future-proof."
He then invited to the podium
Lee assured that fiber-optics will remain valid and that its light-wave transmission technology has been in use in oceanic cables for 50 years or more with no plans to replace the lines.
Ramage said the technology will be "refreshed" throughout the 30-year-term of the coming UTOPIA contract.
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