When Will UTOPIA be in ______ ?

October 18th, 2012

UTOPIA has its critics (which shouldn’t be a newsflash for anyone), but the most common question we still get is, “When will UTOPIA be in my area?”

We love this enthusiasm for our network and the desire so many have to get connected to our fiber optic network. People see the need for this sort of broadband infrastructure and are fed up with the shortcomings of the incumbent providers.

Residents in our member cities are, understandably, eager to get connected and—also understandably—frustrated that our build-out progress hasn’t been as rapid as we’d all hoped. Several of our cities are only partially completed. Adding to the frustration, in some situations residents on one street won’t have access to the network, while residents one street to the south do.

So what’s going on?

In simplest terms, we’re exercising prudence and patience in our growth. In addition to managing and, where possible, reducing operational costs, we are seeking the best ROI in our growth efforts. Bluntly, that means we won’t necessarily build out somewhere just because we can; it has to make sense financially. At the moment, this means putting more emphasis on businesses.

By focusing on growing business revenue, we can strengthen our financial standing and work towards operational break even, which is good news for our cities and their residents. Now, to be clear: we aren’t going to halt residential growth! But we’re not going to build where it doesn’t make financial sense.

Our revenue-generating successes in the coming months and years will help to fund, in effect, other projects that have a lower ROI. We have great confidence in this model yielding solid results.

We realize this explanation probably won’t reduce the frustration of those waiting for UTOPIA, but we hope it helps you understand where we are at.