Resolved: “UTOPIA cities are being offered a lifeline by Macquarie and, despite the estimated $18 to $20 per household utility fee increase, should take the deal.”
A few years ago, Utopia was laying down fiber for cheap in Orem. Seemed like a good deal, and I knew the speed benefits of fiber-optic. We were one of the beta homes, and I was disappointed in their service. I cancelled them after a few months.
I came back to them last year to see what they’d offer. I pay $25 a month to Utopia and then I have my phone/internet service through a private company. The speed’s great, the reliability’s great. Fiber is the future.
Unfortunately, most homes are not wired in Orem, and now the city owes millions in a bad deal brokered a few council members ago. Anti-Utopia sentiment is one of the quickest ways to rally the people here. When the city council met to decide to raise taxes to cover what they still owe Utopia, the room overflowed more than double its capacity.
With the Macquarie proposal, it would mean adding around $20 a month to utility bills, whether the citizens want the fiber or not, whether they have it or not, to cover the costs. It’s unfortunate more didn’t take advantage sooner, but it was a bad deal with bad execution. Spilled milk. If there is a way to rescue the cabling infrastructure, we should look at all proposals.