By Sean Buckley
When the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) open access Fiber to the Home (FTTH) emerged in 2002, it was heralded as a hero by extending broadband to areas where the incumbents just did not feel they could make a good business case work. But ongoing financial losses and a lower than expected subscriber base, has forced UTOPIA to realign its strategy.
To get its vision off the ground, UTOPIA has asked its 11 member cities to join together to form the Utah Infrastructure Agency, whose goal would be to raise up to $60 million to finish building out its network. Although UTOPIA said in May it required more money to complete the network, this week was the first time it has laid out its new strategy that its member cities still need to approve. In addition, UTOPIA put in a bid to participate in Google’s Fiber Communities program in February.
“This is what we have been working toward for the past two years, ever since I came onboard,” said Todd Marriott, UTOPIA’s executive director. “Under this model, the cities will not be spending any additional money until they are assured of a return on their investment.”