Broadband Communities

MAY-JUN 2013

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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COMMUNITY BROADBAND Q&A With Mayor John Curtis, Provo, Utah iProvo was one of the frst community fber networks in the United States. Today, the city is selling the network to Google Fiber – and the community may fnally realize the dream that began a decade ago. P rovo, Utah, has long been a cautionary tale for proponents of municipal broadband. Nearly a decade ago, the city's forward-looking government began building a municipal fber-to-the-home network, but after a state law prohibited it from ofering retail services directly, it scrambled to recruit and manage third-party service providers. Poor service provider experiences in the early years discouraged homeowners from signing up – and that, along with other growing pains, kept the network from meeting its fnancial goals. In 2008, the city sold iProvo to Broadweave, a company known for building FTTH in greenfeld communities. Broadweave ran into fnancial difculties and in 2009 was acquired by Veracity, one of the more successful thirdparty providers on the network. In 2011, Veracity defaulted on its debt payments to the city, and the city repossessed the network while Veracity continued to provide services. Provo immediately began looking for another buyer for the troubled network and succeeded in April 2013, when Google announced that it was buying iProvo for $1. (Te city will have to pay of the debt it incurred to build the network, buy new equipment so it can operate city services independently from Google, and hire engineers to document the locations of all the fber in the system.) In return, Google will provide gigabit 40 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com Mayor John Curtis services throughout the city on terms similar to those it ofers in Kansas City. Recently, BroadBand Communities had the opportunity to speak with Mayor John Curtis of Provo to fnd out whether the Google acquisition represents a happy ending to the iProvo story. Following are some highlights of that discussion. | May/June 2013

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