Advantages of Fiber

Steve smorrey at
Thu Sep 27 17:10:00 MDT 2007

It looks like a strawman argument to me.
In the case of Spanish Fork, they are providing service and infrastructure.
In the case of Utopia they are only providing infrastructure and
allowing third parties to provide service over that infrastructure
which is the true genius of the idea.

Look at my example.
I have Utopia Fiber in my house in Orem, but my Internet service is
being provided by Xmission, Xmission is doing so over that Utopia
Fiber.  Prior to Xmission, I had MStar.

At no point, has the city of Orem said "Hey we should sell our
residents Internet Access, over Utopia Fiber."  But even if they did,
they would just be another competitor on the same network, also
Comcast and Qwest could if they wanted to, provide service over Utopia
fiber.  They simply choose not to.  Conversely if I wanted to offer
internet over Utopia I could do so as well.

A better analogy is that of Roads and Shipping Companies vs the Rail
Road system.

Lets assume I have an Orchard,

In the Rail Road system, Union Pacific built the Rail Roads, and sends
trains down that track to service companies who are close to that
track.  However if I wanted a Rail spur to my home it would be cost
prohibitive for Union Pacific to do so.  They are very unlikely to
ever build a rail spur here.  But I have an orchard and want to get my
products to market,.

So the community came up with a solution.
The community built a road to my home while they were building roads
to everyone else home.

The road in front of my house, connects to the main road in town, this
main road connects to the freeway, which connects to other cities,
those cities have main roads, and those roads connect to other homes
and businesses.

Now I can send my apples/oranges/peaches and whatever,  to any place
in the country, simply by calling a shipping company to come pick them
up.  Additionally, if I want to see the country, I can now just hop in
a car and drive anywhere I want to go.

In Spanish Fork, they built a rail spur, and only Spanish Fork trains
can service that spur.
In Utopia they built a road, and anyone can drive on it.

In short, cities should not be in any business other than that of
providing infrastructure.
Once infrastructure is in, the city should sit back and let others
provide the services over that infrastructure.  They can collect
franchise fees, and taxes to cover their costs, and provide a new
revenue stream, all without having to worry about the day to day

Another good argument is that information is quickly becoming less
like transportation, and every day it's more like water.

You would never consider moving to a city that did not have good water
services.  However a hundred years ago it would not have been as much
of a concern.

The world is becoming more and more about information, and access to
information, In the future most people will not consider moving to a
city that does not have good information services.
Already I and many others would not consider buying a home unless it
has excellent internet connectivity.

Furthermore as time goes on, communities which do not provide for
their citizens information needs, will begin to lose mind-share.  This
will happen as kids grow up, and move to cities where they can have
access to all the information that they need, and eventually have kids
of their own.

Even a small city with a proper information infrastructure can grow
and increase mind share, whereas large cities which fail in this
regard will tend to lose that same mind share.

The biggest players though are business, which do rely on information
and good access to information.  Ask any business of serious size,
what the number one driver of there business decisions are, and they
will say information.  Ask them if they would move there business to
an area that did not have access to information infrastructure such as
high speed internet, and they will decline, probably laughing at you
in the process.

When a person or family moves they usually are replaced quickly
because they have to sell their home to afford the move.  However when
a business moves out, that building may stand empty for years and in
some cases decades.

The information revolution, is the next major revolution.  And just
like the industrial revolution that proceeded it, it will have major
effects which will be felt for centuries to come.

Communities which recognize this fact will be able to take advantage
of this fact and use it as a growth opportunity.  But communities
which fail to recognize this fact will be like deer caught in the

Ok thats probably enough of my rambling.


On 9/27/07, Kyle Waters <unum at> wrote:
> Dennis Muhlestein wrote:
> >> That's correct.  You can't get fiber to your home in Sp'ork.  The
> >> senator in question is just trying to justify the decisions the city
> >> made years ago when they committed to a city-wide cable network.
> >>
> >> It's lousy but it's cheap.
> >>
> >
> > We live in AF now, but had moved there from SF.  I had SFCN and didn't
> > ever think it was lousy.  We got pretty good download speeds and
> > upload never bothered me although I can't recall exactly what it was.
> > I recall it was pretty competitive for $35 a month.
> >
> > Why do you say it's lousy?  Has it worsened or are you just saying
> > hows it could be so much faster?
> >
> I think he was just comparing it to UTOPIA.  Spanish Fork was being used
> as an example(by senator stephenson) of why the state should ban all
> cities from bonding for telecommunications infrastructure.  I need
> counter arguments :).
> Kyle
> --
> no amount of fear can stop the rise of free media, or free software (they are the same, after all)
> Jonathan Swartz
> CEO Sun Microsystems
> /*
> PLUG:, #utah on
> Unsubscribe:
> Don't fear the penguin.
> */

More information about the PLUG mailing list