Centerville Is First UTOPIA City to Complete Fiber Optic Network Backbone

  • UTOPIA
SALT LAKE CITY – Centerville has become the first UTOPIA city to achieve 100 percent buildout of the major trunk lines, or backbone, for its community-owned, ultra-high-speed, fiber optic network. A federal grant from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) made possible the completion of Centerville’s fiber optic network backbone in a year and a half. In just 15 months, 22 percent of Centerville’s single-family homes have subscribed to the network, a number that Centerville Mayor Ron Russell expects to increase to more than 40 percent as residents become more familiar with the network and its benefits.

Centerville residents living in multiple-dwelling-unit (MDU) properties, however, may not be able to subscribe to services over the network at this time. Agreements have to be worked out with homeowner associations and MDU owners that would allow UTOPIA access to private roads and property to install extensions from major trunk lines to these types of residences.

Business Advantage
Centerville local businesses are also expected to realize significant advantages of being able to connect to the ultra-high-speed network. “The previous dearth of connectivity options in that part of the city made it necessary for some companies to cobble together their own very expensive and unreliable wireless and satellite systems or rely on extremely slow dial-up access; as a result they could not grow their businesses,” continues Mayor Russell. “We expect the UTOPIA network to be a cornerstone of future economic development for our community.”

Municipal Savings
“All Centerville citizens can access the network wirelessly in various city-operated locations like parks,” says Russell, who also reports that the city has reduced its telecommunications costs by 60 percent since connection of the city’s municipal buildings, utility facilities and emergency response functions.

UTOPIA supplemented the $16 million BTOP grant, which was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, with $8 million in local bond proceeds, for a $24 million investment in completing extensive portions of fiber optic infrastructure in Centerville, Layton, Midvale, Murray, Orem and West Valley City. Building out the “middle-mile backbone” in these six cities will allow for the connection of nearly 400 critical institutions such as schools, fire stations, senior centers and municipal utilities.

Upon completion of the stimulus-funded construction in 2013, UTOPIA will have built approximately 250 miles of new fiber lines in the participating six cities and connected about 400 community sites, including 161 public safety entities, 39 K-12 schools, one library, 12 institutions of higher learning, 55 health care facilities, and 104 government buildings, such as senior centers, city halls, parks and water and sewer facilities.

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