UTOPIA Broadband Signups Rose 50 Percent in 2020

Pandemic-fueled residential internet usage grew by 38% in 2020; numerous projects hit revenue marks months ahead of schedule.

  • UTOPIA Fiber

 

Murray, UTAH – UTOPIA Fiber released its 2020 end-of-year numbers today showing the fiber network increased its growth by 50 percent in a year that agency officials won’t soon forget. UTOPIA Fiber, an inter-local agency owned by a consortium of 11 Utah cities, was growing quickly prior to the pandemic, but once the coronavirus forced a shift to remote working and learning, things began to really heat up.

 The data show that UTOPIA Fiber connected 10,200 new residential subscribers (about 50 percent growth year-over-year) with a total of 35,000 customers, and made their services available to 20,500 new homes in its 15-city footprint. Importantly, construction crews were able to meet surging demand for internet service. UTOPIA Fiber also says that residential bandwidth grew on its network by 38 percent per subscriber as more Utahns learned and worked from home, began to embrace telehealth appointments, and the continued growth of gaming and streaming persisted.

“It was a perfect storm for residential internet usage,” said Roger Timmerman, Executive Director, UTOPIA Fiber. “We’re grateful for our customers, our city partners, and our team who have risen to the occasion to connect residents and businesses quickly and efficiently, with very few complaints.” He added, “The public has learned firsthand that the internet is an essential utility, as important to our daily lives as electricity and phone service.”

UTOPIA Fiber completed construction in three cities (West Point, Morgan, and Layton), and added 1.7 million feet of conduit throughout their network, at a rate of more than 45 miles of cable per month, by year’s end. The company was also able to maintain its high customer satisfaction scores, receiving 4.5 out of 5 stars on Google, including 491 five-star reviews.

“We planned construction carefully, set expectations with customers, worked with industry partners, and made sure our supply chain was ready at all times. Several of our projects hit revenue marks months ahead of schedule,” said Kimberly McKinley, UTOPIA Fiber’s deputy director and Chief Marketing Officer. “UTOPIA Fiber is not only the nation’s largest and most-successful publicly-owned Open Access fiber network in the country, we’re now the fastest-growing Open Access network in the nation, too,” she noted.

Here’s how UTOPIA Fiber’s 2020 numbers add up:

  • 7 million feet of underground conduit installed
  • 4 million feet of fiber cable placed
  • 38% increase in residential daily data use
  • 20,500 new homes able to connect
  • 10,200 new residential subscribers
  • 42 new Homeowners Associations completed
  • 510 new business connections
  • 30 residential footprints released
  • 491 Five-Star Google reviews
  • 3 new fully-connected cities (West Point City, Morgan, and Layton)
  • 2 new cities joined the network (West Point City and Clearfield City)
  • 2 new internet service providers joined the network (Rise Broadband and Advanced Stream)

Additionally, four UTOPIA Fiber projects hit revenue marks months ahead of schedule:

  • Morgan City hit its revenue mark in May 2020, one year ahead of schedule;
  • Payson City hit its revenue mark in December 2020, 11 months ahead of schedule;
  • West Point City is less than 200 subscribers away from hitting its revenue mark, which would
  • place it 6 months ahead of schedule; and
  • Layton City hit its revenue mark in September 2019, a year ahead of its 2020 schedule.

“We designed and built the UTOPIA Fiber network to be scalable for massive growth, while delivering the fastest residential speeds in the United States. As technology advances and community needs change, UTOPIA Fiber can quickly adapt. Our customers and partner cities are reaping the rewards,” said Roger Timmerman, Executive Director, UTOPIA Fiber.

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