The Fastest Internet Connection in Utah has arrived

June 13th, 2012

UTOPIA becomes the first in Utah to offer a 1-gig residential connection – ultrahigh speeds will make current technologies work in the blink of an eye and future applications not yet dreamed of possible

Salt Lake City (June 12, 2012) – Today, UTOPIA, the open-access fiber-optic network formed by a group of Utah cities to provide critical advanced communications infrastructure to their residents, launches its fastest Internet option for residents yet – a blazing-fast 1 gigabit-per-second speed, which is equal to 1,000 megabits per second and is about 200 times faster than the typical broadband connection of 5 megabits per second.

“Today’s economy relies more and more on the information superhighway,” says Todd Marriott, Executive Director of UTOPIA. “If Utahns are to compete in this age when technology is constantly changing, they need access to broadband connections that provide reliable and fast speeds and our newest service offers just that – 1 gigabit per second.”

This type of speed is possible because fiber optics uses light to transfer information while older systems use copper wire or coaxial cable, which limit the speed and amount of information that can be transferred. And with a UTOPIA connection, network subscribers have their very own strand of fiber optics connected directly to their home or business, so they don’t share their bandwidth with anyone and thus don’t see speed reductions when the network experiences extremely high volumes of use.

UTOPIA will be the first in Utah to offer the ultrahigh-speed gigabit connection to residents and joins only a handful of communities nationwide doing so, including Chattanooga and Morristown, Tenn., Lafayette, La., and Sebastopol, Calif.

“I’m not surprised that Utah is at the forefront of implementing this type of ultrahigh-speed broadband network,” says Kane Loader, UTOPIA’s Chairman of the Board and Midvale’s City Manager. “Our state is constantly being recognized as being the best in the nation for many reasons, from being the most business friendly to being the most inventive, and I’m confident that if we harness that ingenuity and our pioneering spirit, we will also be amongst the leaders in developing the next generation of technologies and applications that this type of speed makes possible.”

Ultrahigh-speed broadband connections are fast becoming the standard for Internet communications such as email and social media, as well as phone calls, television and much, much more. UTOPIA’s gig will make everything done on the Internet today even faster like web-conferencing more clearly with business associates, Skyping with family and friends, uploading and downloading photos, music and video in the blink of an eye or working from home seamlessly with greater telecommuting and data transfer capabilities.

“UTOPIA’s gig offering is fast, there’s no doubt about that,” says Marriott. “But it’s not just about the speed. It’s about what we can do with it and the slices of connectivity it provides. It’s about the potential for the future that fiber-to-the-premises offers to our communities. With this connectivity, UTOPIA’s member cities can promote economic development for their businesses, enhance quality of life for their residents and encourage the expansion of bandwidth-intensive applications in new industries and the traditional as well, like education, healthcare and municipal.”

Two service providers currently supplying communications products over the UTOPIA network, XMission and Veracity Networks, will offer the 1 gigabit-per-second connection. Prices per month will be $299.

The majority of UTOPIA’s service providers already offers a minimum of 25 mbps download and upload capabilities and the speeds available over the UTOPIA network begin where most of the traditional cable and telephone providers leave off. While it’s possible to get faster speeds than 25 mbps from these companies in some parts of the state, customers will pay significantly higher prices and will typically not get the advertised download and upload speeds they are paying for because of shared connections.

As the network continues to grow, UTOPIA will invite additional service providers to join that can offer unique services that will meet the needs of the ever-changing information age in which we live.

“While at first our new speed connection will likely appeal mainly to certain segments of the residential market,” says Marriott, “It will also eventually enable an entirely new realm of applications and technologies we can’t even imagine today and won’t be able to live without tomorrow.”