That went well!

April 18, 2013

Though not completely devoid of controversy, I don’t think anybody could have asked for a better resolution to the saga of iProvo than this.  Welcome Google Fiber!


I listened to the Google rep’s speech about a gigabit future and I’m so heartened to hear somebody saying what I’ve been trying to say for years. It’s not about what we can do on the internet can do today, it’s about the crazy and amazing things the internet can do in the future when bandwidth like this becomes commonplace. When I’ve talked about this over the years, people just glaze over and don’t seem to get it, but Google get’s it and that’s exciting!

Our company is now planning to move BACK to Provo as soon as our lease is up, my business partner is going to put his Orem home on the market as soon as possible and move here. This is exactly what people all around the country are thinking, and you can’t put a number on that value.


iProvo is back!

October 12, 2011

It would appear that iProvo is back.  Much has been said about iProvo over the years, but I for one am happy to see the city taking the network back in some form or another.  I haven’t had a lot of time to look into the specifics, and I’m not entirely sure they’ve all been decided on, but basically Veracity wasn’t able to pay for it in a timely matter, and so the city (who has always been on the hook for it) is taking to back over and will be leasing out access to ISPs.

I’ll be attending the city iProvo open house shortly and will report back more.

So needless to say, I’m restarting this site and looking forward to evangelizing iProvo.  As I’ve said before, I believe that Muncipial Fiber Optics are the most important infrustructure endeavors any community in the 21st century could or should be proud to be taking on, and I’m delighted Provo was forward thinking enough to get on board nearly a decade ago.  Thank you to all those that pushed to get this network installed.  And to those luddite naysayers out there, I say, feel free to move to a crappier city.

In fact as a side note, about a month ago my wife and I got serious about moving from Provo to Lehi in an effort to get closer to family and work (my wife is a Wedding Photographer, and many of her clients are in Salt Lake).  But in the end we just couldn’t deal with the idea of having Crapcast or DSL or (horror) wireless.  Having a fiber optic connection in our home kept us in Provo.  Take that naysayers.


iProvo, as we know it, will never be again…

May 13, 2008

…If the sale to Broadweave goes through.

I attended the open house for the iProvo / Broadweave “unveiling”.  I ended up speaking with many of the decision makers including the Mayor.  I walked away with three basic conclusions.

1) Municipal open broadband is dead to the politicians of Provo.  They made it clear, while they liked the idea, the felt it would take too long to become a profitable.  Who cares, they are the government, since when were they worried about profitability, they aren’t a corporation.  There was a lot of talk about it costing the city $1-2 million a year.  Again, so what! How much do other infrastructures and services cost? Like roads and sewer lines and power and schools and police and fire, and so on.  Those cost ALOT, but we pay taxes because we recognize they are valuable and important to a vibrant community.  

I think Provo should have made the case from the beginning that this was an important asset to build and maintain so that current and future generations could benefit, and that it would cost money.  Instead they started off by telling everybody it would pay for itself.  And, it probably would have, given time, but in the mean time, it was worth the slight increase in taxes to be one of the most forward thinking, high-tech cities in the nation.  (Again, this coming from a libertarian).

Instead they sold us the dream, built an open network, then chickened out and are trying to sell it to a private company that will treat it like just another commercial privately owned endeavor.

2) The iProvo folks, including the Mayor really think this is the best deal they could do.  I did get the impression they have studied this issue for a long time and concluded that this was the best they could do under the current political climate.  I still disagree with their decision and I hope they change their minds, but I do think they care about the network they’ve built and want to do the best they can for it.  That being said…

3) I think iProvo via Broadweave will be a shell of the network we’ve all grown to love.  Broadweave stated that they will be price competitive with alternative services.  Oh so great, you are going to give me something at least as crappy as Comcast, and maybe slightly better.  Gee thanks for the massive downgrade!  I have FIBER IN MY HOME, that means I want wicked fast speeds.  I don’t want an internet connection that’s price competitive, I want a network that’s an order of magnitude better that the competition for a similar price.  Gee, kind of like what I have now!  I showed both the iProvo and Broadweave folks that I’m getting almost 50Mb down and 15Mb up, and none of them couldn’t believe it, but that is what I’m now accustomed to and anything less will be a let down.

Broadweave is currently advertising 10 down and 1 up.  That’s beyond a letdown, I told them that was completely unacceptable!  Especially on the upload side.  One of their employees told me they have to restrict the upload speeds, otherwise people will put up WAREZ servers and do Peer-to-Peer sharing…. Oh no! Heaven forbid!  Paaalleez… This isn’t 1999, “hackers” don’t run WAREZ servers on home machines anymore, most “WAREZ” are exchanged on services like Rapidshare.  Besides, I’m pretty sure most ISP contracts restrict that kind of activity, if somebody’s breaking the law then shut them down, but don’t punish legal, paying customers for the crimes of a few by giving us crap just to slow the bad guys down!  And as far as Peer-to-peer sharing, that’s kind of what the internet was built for, and Broadweave needs to learn to live with it, if Verizon can figure out how to deal with P2P by optimizing their network, then so can Broadweave.

My business requires me to upload large files to clients from time to time and fast uploads have become a critical to my success.  I will not accept 1Mb/sec.  Period.

All in all, it was disappointing.  Like I said, the iProvo folks seemed very genuine and wanted to make it work, but I completely disagree that privatizing the whole network is the correct solution.

I won’t get into the fact that I agree with Jesse that I think Broadweave is overextending themselves.  But I will say they are showing all the signs I’ve seen before.  I remember Airswitch and Homenet, and I was always struck by the fancy brand new gas guzzling trucks and vans driving around with their logos on them. Seemed like a poor use of seed money then.  And sure enough there was a nice brand new 2008ish expensive truck with a Broadweave logo on it parked in front of the Provo city building… not a good sign. 



Insider dealing?

May 8, 2008

Jesse over at www.FreeUtopa.org has some excellent commentary on the potential sale of iProvo to a private company.


The highlights are:

• Provo will still be on the hook if Broadweave goes bankrupt down the road, which seems like a good possibility.  

• Broadweave’s speeds are significantly slower than Mstar via iProvo (where I’m currently getting 55Mb down and 25Mb up).  Broadweave will probably be 10Mb down and 1 up.  That is totally unacceptable for fiber!  

If that is the case, I’m moving to a Utopia town, in fact I’m already looking around Orem, just in case.  Like I said in the beginning, iProvo was the greatest reason for living in Provo.  Way to shoot yourself in the foot Provo City.


Sad Day?

May 7, 2008

So much for our grass roots effort to get more subscribers onto iProvo.  Provo just announced today that it is selling iProvo to a private company, Broadweave.  Though I haven’t had time to research this potential sale, it effectively kills the original dream of an open network, with ISPs competing to get our business.  On the surface it appears that the iProvo network will be nothing more than a really fast, but privately owned and closed Comcast-like network.  

Guess that was about the shortest grass-roots campaign in history.  Unless, this deal falls apart, or I find out it’s not just another private network, I’ll be suspending my efforts.


Welcome to iProvoWorks.com

May 1, 2008

With all the bad press iProvo* and Utopia* have been getting of late, I was concerned the iProvo network is in danger of being shut down or sold off.  So, I decided there needed to be a place for happy iProvo customers to tell everybody how great an incredibly fast internet connection really is.  And a place to point out the advantages of being a customer and most importantly start a grass-roots, door-to-door campaign to sign up more users on the service.

In the near future I will be posting a FAQ, guerilla marketing techniques, printable flyers, and assigning neighborhoods and businesses to blanket with information.

In the mean time, if you are a happy iProvo subscriber, join us and help spread the word before it’s too late and you are stuck with slow copper connection forever.

*Also of note, while iProvo and Utopia are similar, they are not the same.  This site is specifically dedicated to the iProvo network.  From here on, I will be almost exclusively be discussing iProvo issues and advocacy.  If you are on Utopia, feel free to get ideas from here and spread the word in your city.  Also don’t forget to visit, FreeUtopia.org.


* What is iProvo (and Utopia)? iProvo and Utopia are wholesale municipal fiber-optic networks directly to your home or business.  iProvo is available in nearly 100% of homes and businesses in Provo, Utah, and offers the fastest internet connection in the U.S., currently 15Mb up and down, with 50Mb and 100Mb connections coming soon!, as well as TV and Digital Telephone services.  Visit iprovo.net for more information.