Interesting Op Ed about iProvo today.

Richard Esplin richard-lists at
Fri Sep 9 12:11:24 MDT 2011

First Point:

Andrew is right that since Provo sold the network, iProvo is no longer a municipal infrastructure. It is just another monopoly utility, and a poorly run one at that. The light in the tunnel is that if Broadweave don't change how they do things, then Provo gets the network back. Maybe then they can get responsible management or combine it with UTOPIA.

Second Point:
Though UTOPIA has the potential to liberate and revolutionize competition around communication technology, it is not a shining star of good management. It is still a long way from being successful at core goals like turning a profit and paying back investing cities. It has been a much larger investment than was originally envisioned, and adoption has been lower. Competition from the incumbents has been fiercer than expected. And the bottom falling out of the bond-market almost bankrupted the whole thing. The good news is that it seems to be through the worst and has a long term future again.

I really hope that UTOPIA succeeds, and that iProvo becomes a true municipal network again. UTOPIA access was a big part of my decision to move to Lindon, and it has been worth it. I just wish I could convince more of my neighbors to stop supporting Comcast and Qwest, and start investing in their locally owned infrastructure.


On Friday September 9 2011 11:15:35 Andrew McNabb <amcnabb at> wrote:
> On Fri, Sep 09, 2011 at 10:23:20AM -0600, S. Dale Morrey wrote:
> > 
> > Really how so?  I thought it was at least as good as Utopia.
> Here are a few problems that I'm aware of:
> 1) The city of Provo determined that ISPs could only sign up if they
> offered Internet, phone, and TV.  This locked out good ISPs like
> XMission that had no interest in TV.
> 2) The iProvo system has been financially mismanaged--I remember hearing
> about sales tax increases, bankruptcies, sell-outs, etc.  I can't even
> keep track of any of it.
> 3) Broadweave bought out iProvo and all of its ISPs, so my understanding
> is that it's no longer a municipal service at all--it's just another ISP
> with particularly bad service.
> I'm sure that I have some factual errors here (I haven't followed things
> too well), and I'm sure there are other problems that I haven't noted.
> --
> Andrew McNabb
> PGP Fingerprint: 8A17 B57C 6879 1863 DE55  8012 AB4D 6098 8826 6868

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