ISP vs UTOPIA Fiber – What’s the Difference Between Them?
March 22nd, 2023
We get a lot of questions about our network, but the ones we get asked the most have to do with our internet service providers and why we partner with them. We get asked all the time why don’t we just provide the internet services ourselves and what is the difference between what we do on our network and what our ISPs do? These are all great questions, and we are so glad that they’ve been asked. Let’s walk through the differences between what we do, what our ISPs do, how our network is a little different from most, and who to contact if you have questions!
The first thing you need to know to understand why we partner with ISPs to provide the internet services, and don’t just provide them ourselves, is that we are government owned. Our network is owned by the cities that we partner with, and because of this municipal ownership we cannot provide internet services, only the infrastructure for that connection. Similar to how your city/state provides and maintains roadways, your city partners with us to build and maintain fiber “roadways” that ensure your ability to connect to high-speed internet.
We are also an open access network which means that we can have multiple ISPs use our infrastructure to provide services. Our open access network functions a lot like an airport. Just like how an airport provides the runways, gates, and terminals for the different airlines to use, we provide the fiber infrastructure for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to use to provide internet services. While it may seem inconvenient sometimes to have two companies to interact with instead of one, our open access model with several ISPs actually helps to increase competition and keeps high-speed internet connection costs down.
Now let’s talk about what your Internet Service Provider (ISP) does. Your ISP is the one who will provide you with that actual speed and access to the internet that you are familiar with. Your ISP will be the one who manages your internet speeds and other services you receive from them. A good way of looking at it is that they are the product manufacturer, and our fiber infrastructure is the road they use to get their product to you. Our infrastructure provides them with the ability to connect to you and the potential to provide the speeds that they do. We currently have 15 ISPs on our network for you to choose from, and they are all unique in the prices and services they offer. You can learn more about them and the services they offer by checking out our Residential Pricing page.
We love providing fiber infrastructure and working with so many different ISPs to get you connected fiber fast internet, but we do understand the confusion that working with two companies to provide your internet connection can cause. Let’s break down how working with UTOPIA Fiber and your ISP to provide your internet goes.
First thing to know is that you will have 2 bills every month. 1 to UTOPIA Fiber and 1 to your ISP. The bill from UTOPIA Fiber will be a flat $30 billed through XPress Bill Pay every month (If you live in Woodland Hills your bill will be a little different click here to learn more). The bill from your ISP will vary depending on the plan you choose with them and will be charged through the billing company of their choice. You’ll want to make sure you contact your ISP to see how they handle billing.
Second, we handle your fiber line installation. As the fiber infrastructure it is our teams that will manage your fiber to the home installation. From placing fiber housing conduit outside your home, to connecting your ONT and router in your home, our teams will be there for you every step of the way. If you choose a plan that includes a router from your ISP, our installation technicians will be the ones to deliver that to you at the time of your installation. Learn more about our installation process on our Installation Process page.
Third, if you add a video or phone package to your plan while signing up your ISP will be the one to install those features of your package. We will install the fiber line for your internet connection, and your ISP will install any additional things needed for phone or video. If you encounter any problems with this area of your service, you will want to contact your ISP for assistance.
Now that you know what we do vs what your ISP does, let’s get into who to contact if you experience any problems or have questions about your connection.
When To Contact Your ISP:
- You are experiencing slow or inconsistent speeds.
- There is a problem with the bill from your ISP.
- You want to upgrade your internet speeds.
- You notice a service outage.
- You are having problems with your video or phone services.
You can find the contact information for all ISPs on our network on our Internet Services Providers page.
When To Contact UTOPIA Fiber:
- You want to sign up for services.
- There is a red light on your UTOPIA Fiber equipment (ONT)
- You notice a service outage (you can stay up to date on any outages on our network by visiting our Outage Notification page)
- You notice any construction damage caused by your fiber installation.
- If you would like to switch to a different ISP
- If you have questions about your UTOPIA Fiber bill or Xpress Bill Pay
Here is the contact information for our customer service team:
Phone: (801) 613-3880
Live Chat: www.utopiafiber.com/contact/
We hope this helped you better understand the difference between what we do, what our ISPs do, and who to contact if you have questions about your connection. If you have any further questions, please reach out to our team! We would love to answer any questions you have!