Anti-UTOPIA House Bill 60

To the members of the House Government Operations Committee,

We the undersigned believe that HB60 is a bad bill for business for the following reasons.

1) It restricts UTOPIA as an entity from expanding, regardless of whether its member cities are served or not, or whether other cities would like to join. This is a punitive effort executed by the Utah Legislature that takes control away from city members and management.

2) It hobbles one of UTOPIA’s necessary needs to interconnect member cities through backbone service. These fiber optic links currently under UTOPIA ownership allow service providers who may not have facilities in a UTOPIA member city to provide services throughout UTOPIA, increasing member city choice and competition. How are these interconnections supposed to happen under HB60?

3) It limits UTOPIA from collecting funds from potentially high take-rate areas outside member cities. Funds that could otherwise be used for payback of UTOPIA member city debt.

4) It limits UTOPIA from venturing into unincorporated municipalities, with no governing entity that would otherwise join.

5) It is discriminatory against advanced services. Municipal electrical line services are exempt from these restrictions as long as they have been in operation for over 50 years. Fiber optics have only been in broad deployment since the early 1980′s.

6) UTOPIA is under consideration for a dramatic ubiquitous expansion financed by a private entity. This is the wrong time for the Utah Legislature to throw down potential restrictions that could negatively influence their consideration. If the Utah Legislature wishes cities to be enabled to pay off their UTOPIA bonds, they will welcome all potential offers and take a “hands-off” approach.

Pete Ashdown – XMission
David Burr – Sumo Fiber
Randy Cosby – Infowest
Lane Livingston – Fibernet
Dan McComas – Reddit

12 thoughts on “Anti-UTOPIA House Bill 60

  1. I can’t see any good reason for HB60 to have been drafted in the first place. For the “anti-big-government, pro-small-business” representatives you’d like people to think you are, you Utah legislators sure seem to enjoy erecting arbitrary regulatory barriers to innovation and fair marketplace competition.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly that Utopia shouldn’t be restricted and find it very frustrating that the state continually looks to find ways to interfere.

    I would, however, express further frustration with what appears to me as extreme lethargy on Utopia’s part when it comes to providing service to the cities who have put up funds. People in my area have been waiting patiently for service to arrive for YEARS, and we would all very gladly pay a premium for said service over Comcast, Century Link, or whatever other services one may have.

  3. I am not in favor of any bill that would restrict my city council from joinimg the Utopia network in the future.

  4. I see no good reason for restricting future UTOPIA expansion. As a satisfied customer with envious family and friends who one day would also like to have gigabit speed internet connections to their homes, I say this bill sounds like it’s headed in the wrong direction.

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  6. This bill is a job killer! When Google Fiber was first announced in Kansas City, businesses and start ups relocated to take advantage of fiber optic internet at a decent price. This bill is NOT about transparency and accountability! It’s about putting UTOPIA in quarantine so CenturyLink and Comcast don’t have to compete!

  7. I live in downtown Salt Lake City and I’ve been waiting for a decade for high-speed fiber. I see this bill as nothing more than a silver-platter gift to the Big Cable monopoly that has kept me from having it. The CenturyLink and Comcast cartel had its chance and sat on their hands for all this time cashing our checks. Let Utah innovate!

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  9. The House Government Operations Committee has revised their agenda for Friday, February 14th to include H.B. 60 for consideration, in Room 20 of the House Building at 8:00AM. If anyone can speak in opposition to the bill, there can still be a chance to kill it in committee.

    Link to revised agenda: http://le.utah.gov/~2014/agenda/hgoc0214.ag.htm

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