iProvo FTTH project has new owners after city votes to sell

Provo, Utah borrowed $39.5 million to finance its dream FTTH network with plans to provide the city with TV, Internet and phone service. This week, they decided to sell what had become a municipal nightmare for $40.6 million to the only bidder: Broadweave Networks.

Visions of a profitable state-of-the-art fiber network for city residents never materialized. The system peaked at 10,000 subscribers in September of 2007, and Provo had to continue to subsidize the network to the tune of $2 million a year. Between 2003 and 2007 it poured some $7 million into the project, with one analysis saying Provo had lost $14 million on the FTTH network since its inception and stood to lose another $15 million over the next five years.

The City Council voted 4-3 in favor of the sale with some council members worried Broadweave—a previously unheralded telecom—was biting off more than it could chew, and that he city would be stuck with an expensive white elephant down the road.

"I'm not sure I am with Broadweave as a company,” said Councilwoman Cynthia Clark. “They are young and they are inexperienced."

For more:
- See the story in the Salt Lake City Tribune

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