Two major FTTP projects in Utah reached key milestones this summer. The Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) got some of its lingering funding questions answered after closing $85 million in revenue bonds for the first phase of a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network that will serve 11 member cities and bring more competition to incumbent broadband providers Qwest Communications and Comcast Cable.
Phase I will hook up more than 50,000 premises in parts of Salt Lake City County within the next year. Phase II will extend the network to areas such as Brigham City, Centerville, Layton, Perry and Tremonton.
Although UTOPIA has long served as the poster child of FTTP’s potential, another Utah city that is not part of UTOPIA, Provo, is much farther ahead of the curve.
That project, dubbed iProvo, secured a $39.5 million bond in February for construction and operation of an FTTP network that could reach up to 27,000 residences and 4,100 businesses. iProvo has been operating a trial network over the last two years, but is now offering service to paying subscribers.
The complete FTTP build should be complete in about two years, said Mary DeLaMare-Schaefer, a spokeswoman for Provo Power.
Provo will own the network, but will lease capacity to service providers. The first to join the club is Video Internet Broadcasting Corp. (VIB TV).
iProvo will use an active switched network based on FTTP technology from World Wide Packets. The vendor’s LightningEdge platform can support between 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps symmetrical, said World Wide Packets Vice President Barry Kantner. He estimates that the iProvo network will cost $1,500 per sub, a figure that includes all equipment, optics, fiber and labor.
“The cost of our solution has come down by 50 percent due to the utilization of off-the-shelf Ethernet components,” he said.