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Common Misconceptions About UTOPIA Fiber

January 23rd, 2020

We often hear from people who have questions and misconceptions about the service UTOPIA Fiber provides. We welcome these questions and love getting the opportunity clear up confusion about what we do.

As a trailblazer in the municipal broadband universe, much of what we do is new and groundbreaking. In order to be completely transparent with our customers, we have created this list correcting common misconceptions about UTOPIA Fiber:

My member city is still not built out and there are no plans for finishing it:

We have timelines in place for all remaining areas of our member cities. All member cities are on track to be built out by the end of 2024. You can find our build-out timelines here.

I don’t want to sign a contract with UTOPIA Fiber and be stuck on a long-term lease:

The only thing we require is a month-to-month lease agreement to sign up for UTOPIA Fiber services. You can cancel at any time with no penalty to you. Although we have had many different options in the past, we have changed our contract terms to better suit our customers. As of September 3, 2019, we no longer offer 1-Year Lease Agreements. Everybody who signed any type of contract before that time will automatically be switched to a month-to-month agreement. This means if you cancel during your 1-year contract terms, there is no longer any penalty to you.

UTOPIA Fiber is unaffordable:

In the U.S., average speeds for broadband Internet are around 64/22 Mbps and cost an average of $60/month. Starting cost for 250/250 Mbps with UTOPIA Fiber is around $65/month. There are no upfront costs, install fees, or taxes. We also don’t have any contracts; everything is on month-to month terms. For more information, visit our pricing page here.

UTOPIA Fiber is an Internet Service Provider:

UTOPIA Fiber is a community-owned fiber optic network created by a group of Utah cities that supports open-access and promotes competition in all telecommunication services. Because we are an open-access municipal broadband network, we do not (and cannot) provide Internet services. Instead, we provide the fiber and infrastructure and allow customers to choose from a variety of net-neutral service providers on our network. With UTOPIA Fiber, you’re never locked into just one Internet Service Provider (ISP). You can get a fiber optic connection while still choosing the ISP and services you want. There are currently 11 residential ISP’s on our network, you can view them here.

I pay just one bill to UTOPIA Fiber:

This can be confusing to new customers, and we understand it’s not what you’re used to. When you sign up for UTOPIA Fiber you will pay two separate bills. This is due to the fact that UTOPIA Fiber is not an Internet service provider. Because of this, you will pay one bill to your ISP (approximately $35 depending on which plan you pick) for your internet speeds, and $30 to UTOPIA Fiber to lease our fiber and infrastructure. Two separate bills, two separate payments.

UTOPIA Fiber only does residential Internet services:

UTOPIA Fiber has business connections in over 50 cities. We also have over 25 Internet service providers for businesses. To learn more about our business options, visit our business page here or give our Business Department a call at 801-613-3836.

I was quoted over $2,000 to sign up with UTOPIA Fiber/UTOPIA Fiber will put a lien on my home:

There have been different models in the past for signing up, which has led to some confusion about how much UTOPIA Fiber costs. The current offering is approximately $65 a month all in cost, with no install fees, upfront costs, taxes, etc.

I live in an apartment complex or HOA and can’t get service:

This depends on the HOA or apartment complex. Since HOA’s and apartments are typically built on private roads, we cannot build or service the area unless the HOA board/property manager allows us to. We recommend reaching out to your HOA president or management and encourage them to contact us so that we can go over options. If your HOA would like to schedule a time to meet with us, they can contact our Marketing Manager, Alexis Richards at arichards@utopiafiber.com.

Why isn’t UTOPIA Fiber in my city:

This is the number one question we answer from community members. We would love to be in any community that desires UTOPIA Fiber connectivity. However, it is up to your city if they’d like us to build there or not. UTOPIA Fiber is owned and operated by a cooperative of cities and requires city support in order for us to build.

There are many factors to consider when deciding to complete infrastructure in certain areas. First and foremost, we have to install the backbone of our network. The cost requirements of implementing new fiber optic lines are expensive and therefore, every mile of our network has to be planned. We work alongside city leaders to review infrastructure including roads, underground and overhead utility paths, permits, and more. This is a joint effort. Not only do we have to be prepared, but our member cities have to be ready to design and build a brand-new network that can support thousands of miles of fiber optic cables.

For us to expand to your city, we encourage you to contact your city leaders. This is a good first step to bringing fiber to your area.

If you have any other questions, visit our FAQ page or email us at communications@utopiafiber.com. We would love to hear from you and answer any questions you have.