Bountiful, Utah, builds a municipal broadband network

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The city of Bountiful, Utah, with a population of around 45,000, plans to begin construction of a new municipal broadband network in August 2023. Bountiful has partnered with Utopia Fiber to install and operate the open-access network. The city-owned fiber network will provide gigabit speeds to residents and businesses who elect to participate. Participating in Bountiful Fiber is totally voluntary. The project was temporarily waylaid by a group called the Utah Taxpayers Association, which financed a petition effort to force a vote on project funding. Hired signature gatherers ultimately failed to collect enough signatures from registered voters to advance the opposition campaign. To finance the project, Bountiful City will issue about $43 million in revenue bonds. Sales tax will be pledged as security for the bonds to ensure the lowest possible interest rate, but taxpayer dollars will not be used the build or manage the project. Subscriber revenue will cover the cost of the service. Utopia uses the open access model to promote competition by leasing the network to different internet service providers. And customers can choose the provider they want.

Bountiful, Utah builds a municipal broadband network