UTOPIA Fiber announces completion of $52.5 million funding round
Murray — UIA (Utah Infrastructure Agency) has just completed its latest round of funding that will infuse the UTOPIA/UIA network with $52.5 million for the expansion of its network. Utah Infrastructure Agency (UIA) is a sister agency to UTOPIA Fiber. Although legally separate entities, UTOPIA and UIA functionally operate as one integrated system and both are marketed as UTOPIA Fiber. This is the third round of financing UIA has secured recently, attracting $113 million in the last 14 months.
UIA secured the latest round of funding in partnership with Lewis Young Robertson & Burningham, Inc. (Financial Advisor), KeyBanc Capital Markets, Inc. (Senior Managing Underwriter), and Gilmore & Bell (Bond and Disclosure Counsel). Since 2011, the majority of UTOPIA Fiber’s growth has come from its synergistic relationship with UIA, designing, financing, building, and operating state-of-the-art ultra-high-speed fiber-broadband networks, firmly securing its position as the largest publicly-owned Open Access fiber network in the United States.
“What we’re seeing with this latest round of funding is stronger-than-ever demand for high-speed fiber networks,” said Roger Timmerman, UTOPIA Fiber’s executive director. “The $52.5 million provides the capital to build out the remaining areas of our original 11 cities and to add customers throughout our coverage area. We continue to have the best partners in the business, who have worked tirelessly to get us to this point,” he added.
UTOPIA Fiber provides fiber-to-the-home services in 15 cities and business services in 50. They serve as operational parter for Idaho Falls Fiber in Idaho and are in talks with additional municipalities to bring the network to their communities. UTOPIA Fiber is available to 130,000 homes and businesses, offers the fastest internet speeds in the United States (10 Gbps residential and 100 Gbps commercial), and enjoys being ranked as the highest-rated internet option in Utah.
This round of new funding is the largest that UIA has closed on in agency history and the third in the last 14 months ($48 million in November 2019 and $13 million in August 2020). UTOPIA Fiber continues to bring competitive services from 14 internet service providers (ISPs) at the fastest speeds and best value.
UTOPIA Fiber’s Open Access model enables communities to have access to a free and open internet without throttling, paid prioritization, or other provider interference. Participating cities can also benefit from various Smart City applications that are enabled by the UTOPIA Fiber network including early wildfire detection systems, free public WiFi, Smart water and energy management, and air pollution monitoring services.
“The pandemic has shown us just how important fast, affordable, and reliable broadband service is. We believe publicly-owned Open Access fiber networks are the future of American internet connectivity and are excited to be at the forefront of that movement,” Timmerman said.
The public is invited to visit UTOPIAfiber.com for service maps, build-out timelines, and information on how to sign up for UTOPIA Fiber services.
About UTOPIA Fiber
Created by a group of Utah cities, the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) is a community-owned fiber-optic network that uses the Open Access model to promote competition by giving customers the freedom to choose which telecommunication services they want. With fiber availability to over 130,000 businesses and residences in over 50 communities, UTOPIA Fiber is the largest and most-successful Open Access network in the United States, and enjoys the industry’s highest customer satisfaction scores. Since 2009, the agency has successfully designed, built, and operated over $250 million worth of fiber projects throughout Utah, all of which have been funded completely through subscriber revenue, at no cost to taxpayers.