Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Utopia: The Mysterious Promise

This year there have been a lot of things to be excited about: Movies that I have wanted to be released for some time, books that have been of interest to me, electronic devices that have had me drooling since I had heard rumors of them. All of these have been holding me in suspense for the year, but none as much as the Utopia Project.

I've mentioned this before in previous posts, but for any that haven't heard of it, the Utopia project is a municipal project held within various Utah cities to bring fiber optic connections to every home and business within that city. Probably based off of the success of the iProvo project, this extends connections along the length of the State, principally along I-15. Not all cities are participating, in fact the one city that really needs it (Salt Lake City) has refused to participate based on various discussions with the principal broadband monopolies, er, providers within Utah.

Regardless, my city, West Valley City, has decided to invest in this infrastructure in order to benefit its citizens. Murray has also agreed, so those living in Murray will be pleased as punch with the news (if you haven't already got it, you lucky devils!). The only problem is, the infrastructure is growing at a snails pace. It makes sense, as they are installing enough switches to supply access to all the citizens at full speed, as opposed to the practice of piping as many people though the same switch and hope they don't all use the net at the same time. *cough* Comcast *cough*. This way the bandwidth remains strong for all users.

Because it's growing so slow, I don't have that option. In stead, I have opted for the Blue Zone, which offers wireless access for less than Comcast, and at about the same speed (for me anyway). But it is terribly slow, and it seems to get slower every day. Perhaps it's because I'm used to using the Internet pipeline here at the U (sitting on the backbone of Utah), but even my family that doesn't go to the U is complaining about the lag. Perhaps they are doing the same thing Comcast is doing, and connecting too many people to the same antenna, and are not going to upgrade because of Utopia. Whatever the reason, I am aching for the Utopia project to come to my area.

Why am I bringing this up? Because there was a sign of hope on the way to work. As I was heading down SR-201 to work this morning, I saw a Utopia truck pull onto the freeway from West Valley. Imagine my excitement in seeing evidence of the continued expansion of the best network project since Telegraph lines were ran throughout the area back in the day. Yes, it gives me that glimmer of light in the long tunnel of darkness that continues to trouble my network connection.


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you haven't seen more UTOPIA trucks getting on SR-201 from West Valley because the office is right next to the SR-201 on-ramp on Redwood Road.,-95.677068&sspn=41.360684,66.005859&ie=UTF8&ll=40.722462,-111.938581&spn=0.004846,0.008057&t=h&z=17&om=1

Doran "Fozz" Barton said...

My company has an office in West Valley- 3100 So and about 3600 West. Apparently, UTOPIA is providing service on 3100 So up to about 2900 West and east from that. Then, they pick up again at 3670 West and provide service west of that. Imagine my shock to discover we're >< THAT close!

Like you, we also have Blue Zone. In fact, we host two or three of their antennas on our roof. They suck, but whatchagonnado?g

Jeremy Robb said...

Thanks for your posts! I haven't noticed that many, and I didn't know they had an office so close. The truck I saw was getting on SR-201 from 5600 South, so maybe that means they will be expanding soon. ^_^

I'd like to see the expansion reach 3500 South and 7200 West before I get too impatient. It's really frustrating, knowing that you are that close to getting a huge pipe, and yet so far away...

Anonymous said...

I used to work for mstar installing fiber-optic lines for the new triple play. The sad thing is that I see all of the telephone poles have support for these houses, yet service is unavailable.

Its too bad our mayor wants to turn west valley city into his own personal prison ward, hooking up his fellow police officers, ticketing everybody who looks in the wrong direction instead of concentrating on catching the real criminals. The companies like qwest and comcast who are trying to bomb us back into the stone age with their obsolete technologies. Lets just go back to dial-up shall we. Most companies like Intel and Motorola have to increase their processor speed on 10 million transistors on a 1in x 1in square piece of glass. Every year! We can't even install fiber-optic lines to our homes. No wonder we get business like check city and dollar loan center. What real company with their own would want to invest in a location that has only DSL? A guy from Dynamic City said "We(Utah) have the fastest switching network in the world." Utah is a gold mine. We can save more money on information technologies for our companies than any other state in the US. Yet our mayor has his head so far up his butt. Giving the poor people tickets are more important than setting our little economy up for a boom that will increase business revenue and real estate values.