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UPDATE: Macquarie Proposal for Fiber Deployment

Article Published 11/10/2014

UPDATE: Macquarie Proposal for Fiber Deployment

As many are aware, Layton City, along with the other 10 Cities, are involved in providing a fiber-optic highway to each home and business within our cities.  We have been in negotiations with a potential concessionaire that could see this objective to fruition.  For the past year, Layton City and the other Cities have been investigating and negotiating with Macquarie Capital for the purpose of determining whether there is a mutual benefit in allowing Macquarie to take over construction and operation of the Fiber optic network known currently as Utopia.  Their proposal has been to ubiquitously (completely) build out the entire network with a fiber connection to every home and business, while allowing the network to be used by the internet provider that the home or business owner chooses.  This would increase competition, lower prices and give our citizens and businesses extremely fast and quality connectivity.  (at speeds and costs similar to Google in Provo)

In exchange for building this highway (entire build out in 30 months), the cities would commit to collect a utility fee for the fiber, from each home where the fiber is made available.  The costs with all 11 cities participating was determined to be around $18 to $20 per month. For that price, once the system was built, private providers of the owner’s choice, would agree to provide basic internet and for a small amount ($5-$7) more, phone service, to every connection. In addition, all of our public parks and properties would be provided with very fast WIFI. There are also many other services for public safety, education, medicine and business once the fiber is connected. We have been in investigation and negotiation mode for the past year on this Macquarie proposal.


In the spring and summer of this year, each of the cities evaluated the proposal and made a determination on whether to move to the next step, which would involve developing the contracts and digging down on the numbers. Unfortunately, 5 of the 11 cities (Payson, Orem, Lindon, Murray, Centerville) elected officials determined not to go forward with looking at the deal any further. This left the decision to 6 cities (Layton, West Valley, Perry, Tremonton, Midvale, Brigham City) and Macquarie, as to whether the proposal was still viable at a reasonable cost to the remaining cities. From July, until now, the 6 cities and Macquarie have been sharpening pencils and looking at numbers to see if we could still keep prices low and the quality high. We are continuing the work of trying to make the numbers the best possible. If we are able to do so, it was proposed, by the 6 Mayors of the remaining cities, to put the question on the proposal, in an opinion question to our citizens. We are still working hard on back and forth negotiations with Macquarie. These negotiations will likely take another month or two.


As citizens, we want to encourage you to participate in sharing your opinion on this subject. The City has already made a considerable investment in this fiber network. It will provide tremendous connectivity into the future. The Macquarie proposal is designed to pay off the cities outstanding indebtedness for the fiber network we have built, along with providing a choice and the best connectivity available anywhere. It is a proposal that the City needs to vet thoroughly. Please feel free to write or email the City Council and Mayor on this subject. It is an important one!

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