Exciting news out of Provo today. That’s right: We think it’s exciting.
Don’t think for a second that UTOPIA feels threatened by the arrival of Google Fiber in Utah. On the contrary, we are very excited about what this means for Provo specifically and Utah generally. Why? In simple terms, we hope—and expect—Google’s presence will further the discussion of how important fiber is to the future of not only Utah but this country.
As Todd Marriott, our Executive Director, told the Salt Lake Tribune today, “We want a national discourse about ubiquitous gigabit offerings and getting our institutions of learning up to speed.”
When Google made it’s Kansas City announcement last summer, there was a lot of buzz in the country about the gigabit speeds that would be available there—speeds UTOPIA has offered since June 2012. With Google taking on the erstwhile iProvo network, we expect further dialogue on why fiber is critical infrastructure—no matter who does it.
Even though the approaches are different, Google Fiber validates UTOPIA’s emphasis on fiber; it’s what our data-intense lives will increasingly require moving forward. There would be little excitement if Google were going to be stringing coax cable throughout the city. The whole idea is silly.
One of the primary differences in approaches is that UTOPIA is all about open access. We simply provide the infrastructure so that private (and typically local) ISPs can provide services on it. This means consumer choice and empowerment. We remain committed to this public/private partnership.
So, make no mistake: it’s exciting to see Google Fiber come to Provo. Residents there who choose Google’s gigabit offering will be able to appreciate the same gigabit-capable broadband access UTOPIA customers have enjoyed for nearly a year.