Cedar Hills, Lehi announce partnerships with fiber optic networks | News, Sports, Jobs

Courtesy photo

In this 2016 file photo, UTOPIA trucks are shown in Orem as residents add on to the fiber optic network.

Fiber optic internet will be coming to two more Utah County cities in the near future, as Cedar Hills and Lehi announced partnerships with fiber optic networks.

UTOPIA Fiber announced on Wednesday that the company has added two more cities to its roster, Cedar Hills and Santa Clara, making 19 Utah cities that have opted to utilize the network.

UTOPIA Fiber, also known as the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency, is a fiber optic network owned by a group of 11 Utah cities.

UTOPIA Fiber is an open-access network that builds the fiber infrastructure within cities, then allows residents to choose between various private sector internet service providers that operate using UTOPIA’s fiber lines. The agency has doubled its customer base in just the last few years, becoming the largest open-access network in the United States.

“It’s a great day for all of us at UTOPIA Fiber and for the people of Cedar Hills and Santa Clara,” Roger Timmerman, executive director of UTOPIA Fiber, said in a press release. “We’re really excited to continue our momentum in Utah County and to venture into southern Utah where Santa Clara will become the first all-fiber city in Washington County.”

According to Denise Anderson, the mayor of Cedar Hills, this partnership with UTOPIA Fiber will help to address resident complaints about previously poor internet service.

“One of the top issues we’ve been hearing from residents is poor broadband service,” Andersen said in a press release. “Bringing UTOPIA Fiber to our city will completely change the game,”

The residential internet speeds offered by UTOPIA Fiber are up to 10 gigabits per second, the company boasts, and the business internet speeds are up to 100 gigabits per second.

The installation of fiber networks in Cedar Hills and Santa Clara will have a combined cost of $12 million, which will be funded through subscriber revenue, not taxpayer dollars.

“As UTOPIA Fiber grows larger, the cable industry is taking slings at our community-owned Open Access model. But the proof is in the pudding,” Timmerman said in a press release. “We’re operating in the black, we’ve achieved the highest customer scores among internet companies in Utah, and we’re growing. The facts say it all: UTOPIA Fiber is the model for the industry and for communities that delivers time and time again.”

UTOPIA Fiber service maps and build-out timelines are available online at http://utopiafiber.com.

Lehi City announced on Dec. 29 that it has formed a partnership with Roosevelt-based STRATA Networks to build an all-fiber network for its residents.

The network infrastructure will be owned by Lehi, and will offer residents a similar open-access model where they will be able to choose their own internet service provider. The ISPs that will be able to utilize Lehi’s fiber infrastructure are yet to be announced.

According to Lehi, STRATA Networks has already begun designing and engineering the network. STRATA Networks offers internet, TV, and wireless phone services, and is the largest independent telecommunications cooperative in Utah.

“Lehi is one of Utah’s greatest cities and it only makes sense for the home of Silicon Slopes to have access to a robust fiber network,” Bruce Todd, STRATA Networks CEO/General Manager, said in a press release.”Communities like Lehi are trailblazers in positioning the state for growth and opportunity and having city-wide fiber internet access will allow Lehi and Utah to thrive more than ever. We are happy to be a part of it and look forward to seeing the many ways it will benefit the people that live here.”

The agreement between STRATA Networks and Lehi City is expected to be finalized within 30 days of the partnership announcement. This project will be funded by a bond that was approved by the Lehi City council in 2020, the bond will be backed by Lehi City, then paid for by future subscriber revenues.

“I am very excited to bring this new service to the citizens of Lehi City,” Lehi Mayor Mark Johnson said in a press release. “We recognize the importance of reliable utility services. We have recognized for a long time the importance of our power system and how beneficial it is to the citizens to own our own power company. I believe the same is going to be true about this high-speed internet network. We are excited to partner with STRATA Networks to make this a reality.”

Johnson was recently re-elected to serve a second term as mayor of Lehi, and he has stated that completing the all-fiber network is one of his primary goals for his next four years of service.

Construction on the fiber optic lines is slated to begin in the summer of 2022, and it is anticipated that the first subscribers will be able to utilize the network before the spring of 2023.

Project updates can be found on the Lehi City website at http://engagelehi.org/lehifiber.


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