Centerville is finally getting the fiber-optic network it wanted, after many years of waiting. UTOPIA has started work to expand its network, first to community anchor institutions and then to residents and businesses. UTOPIA had previously stopped expanding after problems with its business plan, management, and the intense opposition of incumbents Qwest and Comcast as well as other anti-government groups.
UTOPIA trucks have started working in Centerville this week, putting in hub and connector points that will help bring the long-planned fiber optic network to public institutions in the city.
Though this will also lay the groundwork for bringing the network to residents, the current phase of construction is covered by grant money that only involves government institutions. Construction on residential connections won’t begin until sometime this summer.
Centerville has been stuck with considerably less reliable wireless connections that do not offer anywhere near the capacity of fiber-optic cables. The network will go beyond the typical anchor institutions (e.g. City Hall, muni buildings, and often schools) to connect traffic lights as well -- an increasingly common approach.
After this phase, UTOPIA will begin expanding residential connections -- but they will prioritize areas that show the most interest in taking services.
Before the summer construction begins, residents should expect to see an information and advertising push explaining the different companies offering services on the UTOPIA network and seeking those wishing to sign up for the services (though UTOPIA and the UIA maintain the network, they offer no services. Outside companies, such as XMission, use the network for their services).
Placing the advertising before the construction will determine whether or not there’s enough demand to justify the expense of laying in the network in a given area.
UTOPIA continues to impress even past critics with its new management and approach.