[OT] UTOPIA advise

plug.org at 2nerds.com plug.org at 2nerds.com
Wed Mar 21 11:51:24 MDT 2007

On Wed, 21 Mar 2007, Kenneth Burgener wrote:
> Chris, where do you live?


> ... I am constantly having short connection outages throughout the
> day.

You just described exactly what I've been seeing with UTOPIA since the
day it was installed.

Interestingly, as I was about to reply to your message last night, UTOPIA 
went down again.  I waited a few minutes, expecting it to come back up as 
it usually does, but after 20 minutes of downtime I relented and called 
Xmission.  I spoke with one of my co-workers who moonlights doing tech 
support for Xmission.  He reported that a Dynamic City tech had flubbed up 
a fiber splice (or some such) while doing routine maintenance.  This 
foul-up reportedly took out big chunks of UTOPIA subscribers in Midvale, 
Murray, and West Valley.  I went to bed; my UTOPIA line finally came back 
up nearly four hours after it went down.  This was an atypical outage; 
most UTOPIA outages last less than a minute or two.

Without prompting, my co-working Xmission support buddy commented that
he'd be loath to sign up for UTOPIA himself because Dynamic City
routinely causes their own outages, last night's "fiber splice" being
only the latest example in a long line of apparently demonstrated
incompetence.  I was a bit surprised when he volunteered his opinion
on this topic if only because his observation exactly matches my own
experience as a UTOPIA subscriber.  He wasn't speaking for Xmission
officially, but I would not be surprised if Xmission's frustration
with Dynamic City raises to the same level as my own.  As an Xmission
subscriber for a decade, it's pretty clear to me that Dynamic City
does not rise to anywhere near the level of Xmission's competence.

It's a pity, really.  I fit into UTOPIA's most optimistic customer
demographic: an early adopter, networking maven, willing to suffer
growing pains, etc.  But if my experience with it is so bad that I
refuse to deploy anything (voice, TV) beyond the basic data service
(and I continually have second thoughts about even _that_), what hope
do they have of satisfying more discering customers?  As a networking
professional myself, I'm frankly embarrassed by the whole thing
because I'm constantly having to explain to friends and family that
there's more to good {internet,phone,TV} service than just a fiber
buried in their yard.

> This makes our VoIP phone service lousy, and makes online gaming
> painful.  I was hoping to switch to Utopia to solve this problem,
> but you now have me concerned.

Others have reported great success with UTOPIA, so YMMV.  My suspicion
is that most folks who are happy with UTOPIA either don't monitor
link-up rates very closely or they just haven't ever experienced
anything better.  All I know is that my UTOPIA line suffers more
downtime on a weekly basis than I saw in literally years of service
with my old Speakeasy DSL circuit.  While I marvel at the speed of
UTOPIA, I long for the rock-solid stability of that old slow and
relatively expensive DSL line.


More information about the PLUG mailing list