OCTOBER 19, 2010 — Lyfe Communications, Inc. (OTCBB: LYFE) Connected Lyfe, provider of converged network services, says it has reached an agreement to acquire television broadcast rights from the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA). The company’s television service includes local and basic cable network channels, a premium or extended channel package, and individual add on channel packages.
UTOPIA provides open access fiber to the home (FTTH) infrastructure to 16 communities in Utah.
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.
The sponsoring cities and UTOPIA have the right concept. UTOPIA is now being better managed, and the network penetration is increasing. I know that they can start meeting their objectives and eventually be profitable, but their members need to continue to invest in them. The $54,000 that the city of Brigham needs to contribute to keep UTOPIA going is a small price to pay for the economic and consumer benefits the network brings. I’ve seen cities blow that much money on studies that are never implemented and just sit on a shelf. I hope Brigham residents and the council have the foresight to continue investing in this valuable asset.
By Nancy B. Fuller (Standard-Examiner correspondent)
BRIGHAM CITY — After months of rumors, the Brigham City Council had its first formal meeting with UTOPIA executive directors on options for implementation and long-term commitments for the city to continue with the fiber-optic network.
The meeting was held one hour before the regular city council meeting, which didn’t leave enough time for council members to address their concerns, so the council requested another meeting with UTOPIA.
Leonard Grace, Expert Opinion, BroadbandBreakfast.com
Utopia: the definition brings about visions of an “ideal place or state”, or “a system of political and social perfection.” Thus became the name chosen for a consortium of sixteen Utah cities building their own broadband infrastructure with a fiber-to-the-premise architecture, while offering residents a clear and alternative choice to incumbent operators, including Quest and Comcast. Is it perfection or fantasy?
Published: Sunday, April 18, 2010 12:04 a.m. MDT
I was not an elected official when my city committed to the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA). But now as mayor of the largest UTOPIA city, I find that what to do with our city’s network has become one of the greatest challenges I face — not just because of West Valley City’s enormous commitment ($147 million between 2010 and 2040), but importantly because of the enormous potential benefits. I find the question is not, “Was UTOPIA a good idea or a bad idea?” The question is: “Looking at our hand today, what is our best way forward?”