Friday, May 17, 2013

It happened in Provo


     Provo, Utah, is the dead crow in the garden of community-owned broadband Internet services.

     It just sold the fiber-optic network that cost the city $39 million to build to Google for $1. Dead crows like this one tend to scare off others attracted to the garden’s tasty pickings.

     Utah state laws strangled the Provo network’s ability to sell its services on the retail market. Provo could only sell space at wholesale prices to resellers that provided services to the public at large. The city could also connect city offices with other public facilities, which the city of Boise has also done.

     Provo was delighted to get the monkey off its back when it sold the system after years of trying to make ends meet.

     As Ketchum proceeds in its examination of whether or not to create a local broadband network, it needs to keep Provo firmly in mind. It’s a complex question. It may be stating the obvious, but the city must have a firm grip not only on the costs of building a high-speed network but also of any ongoing maintenance, operation and future development costs.

     To go forward, the city must show persuasively that it can not only provide high speeds and reliability, but save money and improve the services it offers the public by developing a public network.

     Some communities in states like Idaho that don’t restrict the ability of public agencies to offer broadband as a service have successfully partnered with other government organizations and businesses to ensure that information flows fast and affordably on the Internet highway.

     Ketchum needs to make sure that any research it relies on is written in plain, easily understood language in order to avoid baffling a largely tech-deficient public with bytespeak. Otherwise, it will put the city at risk of joining Provo as another dead crow in the garden.




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2014 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.