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Midvale Journal

UTOPIA Fiber exceeds 60,000 subscribers

Mar 01, 2024 12:58PM ● By Peri Kinder

It’s been more than 20 years since the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency introduced the idea to build a fiber optic network with an investment from several cities in the state. Now those cities are considered pioneers for having the foresight to predict the need for high-speed internet connectivity for residents.

UTOPIA Fiber has demonstrated 14 years of consecutive growth, with the company releasing its 2023 numbers that include five new city buildouts and more than 62,000 subscribers. Last year, the fiber-optic company installed 1.5 million linear feet of underground conduit and 2.7 million linear feet of fiber-optic cable, and it connected more than 23,000 new homes and 1,270 businesses. 

“This past year has been one of UTOPIA Fiber’s best yet,” said Roger Timmerman, UTOPIA Fiber executive director. “By partnering with communities across Utah and the West, we’ve built vital infrastructure that aims to ensure residents and businesses benefit from fast, reliable, and affordable fiber internet connectivity, while leveraging UTOPIA’s expertise and proven track record in efficient network operation, maintenance, and exceptional customer service.”

Midvale City was one of the original cities to invest in UTOPIA Fiber and many of its businesses are connected to the system, including More than 20 years ago, Midvale’s elected officials were willing to support the project, even in the face of harsh criticism. 

“Midvale is one of those small cities that everyone goes through but nobody knows, but it was one of our founding cities,” said Kim McKinley, chief marketing officer of UTOPIA Fiber. “Midvale has always been this city that’s the heart of the Wasatch Valley because there’s so much going on. We’re seeing tremendous growth and we’ve loved Midvale being part of this network since the beginning.”

Since 2009, UTOPIA Fiber has designed, built, and financed nearly half-a-billion dollars worth of community broadband projects in Utah and the Intermountain West. While UTOPIA Fiber doesn’t provide internet services, it builds out the infrastructure with an “open access” model that allows private service providers to tap into the system. 

“Utopia wouldn’t be here unless the community stood up and said what they wanted in their community, and I never knew the power of your voice until I’ve been to some of these city council meetings where people want fiber and understand how that really can direct the city’s future,” McKinley said. “So it’s been a great ride. It’s a new UTOPIA and we’re here to see what 2024 brings. We’re always up for a challenge.”

Timmerman said UTOPIA Fiber’s growth has been spurred by residents and city officials who were tired of waiting for fast internet to become available in their communities. 

“They took the matter into their own hands, correctly characterizing fiber as vital infrastructure and demanding more choice and affordable pricing,” he said. “We continually build networks that deliver among the fastest speeds in the United States, consistent reliability, and the freedom to choose your own internet service provider, most of which are fantastic local Utah companies themselves.”

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