Better Broadband Better Lives

How the Utah Open Access Fiber Network Is Getting Back its Groove

in Broadband News/Fiber/Open Access by

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency has been outperforming expectations for some time; and never more so than recently. This post from FreeUTOPIA summarizes some of the reasons. In September, the entity signed a deal with Layton to allow the city to accelerate its build of the fiber-optic network.

Expanding UTOPIA the Layton Way, from FreeUTOPIA:

UTOPIA has never been in a better position. Revenues have exceeded operating expenditures for a considerable amount of time, new footprints are being opened for service every month, and many member cities have been finally embracing the network as a vital part of their infrastructure. While Orem has been putting in a lot of time drawing up plans, Layton actually beat them to the punch and pulled the trigger on an expansion that will take no more than 24 months to cover the rest of the city.

In many ways, this is a lot like the UIA plan where bonds are issued to be paid back by pledging subscribers. There’s a couple differences, though. For starters, UIA can now issue bonds on its own authority. This means cities no longer have to use their bonding capacity to back them. The Layton plan also has the city backing the bonds using city franchise fees. If the subscriber numbers fall below what is required to pay the bond (which, to date, has not happened in a single UIA expansion area), the city pledges to cover the difference. On the flip side, if revenues exceed the bond payments (which has happened in most UIA expansion areas), the city gets to keep a cut of that for whatever they want. This could include paying off the original UTOPIA bonds, funding other city services, or anything else, really. It’s important to note that this revenue split option is only available to cities who assumed the original debt service.

[more...]

Source: Expanding UTOPIA the Layton Way – Free UTOPIA!

See also UTOPIA's press release on the subject.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. He is an attorney who works with cities, communities and companies to promote the benefits of internet connectivity. The articles and posts on BroadbandBreakfast.com and affiliated social media, including the BroadbandCensus Twitter feed are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

Latest from Broadband News

Go to Top