This conference should be very interesting. Paul T. Morris of Utopia will be speaking. Morris is the Executive Director of UTOPIA (Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency) and City Attorney for the City of West Valley City, Utah. Since 1997, he has chaired the Telecommunications Task Force for the League of Cities and Towns, representing government officials and wireline and wireless industry representatives. Interesting that the key players with UTOPIA are both attorneys. (David Shaw, Murray City Attorney, is deputy director of UTOPIA) Morris is also speaking at the IntelligentCities conference in October. It looks like the cities are trying to position themselves in the middle of the future of networking. Their vision is provided by a company called DynamicCity:
"Technologically speaking, everyone can and should have broadband access. Wireless transmission technologies and high-speed cable and fiber optic solutions are already in place globally, servicing the world’s elite customers. Now, thanks to recent advancements in fiber optic technology, broadband access can also become a reality for all of the world’s smaller customers—the thousands of cities and counties that don’t have millions of residents and therefore represent smaller financial markets. Once these cities and counties gain access to broadband connectivity, the Digital Divide will become a thing of the past"
Currently, DynamcCity is conducting a feasability study for the network at a cost of about $10K to $14K a month.
Utah cities are pushing the issue hard. Provo City is putting in a network and is joining with other Utah County cities to form the Utah Valley Community Network. UTOPIA has 17 charter members including West Valley City, Orem, Layton, Taylorsville, Murray, Roy, South Jordan, Midvale, Riverton, Cedar City, Brigham City, Centerville, Payson, Lindon, Tremonton, Cedar Hills and Perry. It appears that Sandy City has withdrawn from the group and is doing its own thing, while Salt Lake City is interested in joining. UTOPIA has enjoined a grant writer who will apply for $10 million by September 30. This was published a couple of years ago: The Case for Municipal Fibre