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UTOPIA, an open-access fiber-optic network formed by a group of Utah cities to provide critical advanced communications infrastructure to their residents, launched its fastest Internet option for residents yet – a blazing-fast 1 gigabit-per-second speed, which is equal to 1,000 megabits per second and is about 200 times faster than the typical broadband connection of 5 megabits per second.
“Today’s economy relies more and more on the information superhighway,” said Todd Marriott, executive director of UTOPIA. “If Utahns are to compete in this age when technology is constantly changing, they need access to broadband connections that provide reliable and fast speeds and our newest service offers just that – 1 gigabit per second.”
This type of speed is possible because fiber optics uses light to transfer information while older systems use copper wire or coaxial cable, which limit the speed and amount of information that can be transferred. With a UTOPIA connection, network subscribers have their very own strand of fiber optics connected directly to their home or business, so they don’t share their bandwidth with anyone and thus don’t see speed reductions when the network experiences extremely high volumes of use.
UTOPIA will be the first in Utah to offer the ultrahigh-speed gigabit connection to residents and joins only a handful of communities nationwide doing so, including Chattanooga and Morristown, Tenn., Lafayette, La., and Sebastopol, Calif.
“I’m not surprised that Utah is at the forefront of implementing this type of ultrahigh-speed broadband network,” said Kane Loader, UTOPIA’s chairman of the board and Midvale’s city manager. “Our state is constantly being recognized as being the best in the nation for many reasons, from being the most business friendly to being the most inventive, and I’m confident that if we harness that ingenuity and our pioneering spirit, we will also be amongst the leaders in developing the next generation of technologies and applications that this type of speed makes possible.”
Ultrahigh-speed broadband connections are becoming the standard for Internet communications such as email and social media, as well as phone calls, television and more. UTOPIA’s gig will make everything done on the Internet today even faster like web-conferencing more clearly with business associates, Skyping with family and friends, uploading and downloading photos, music and video in the blink of an eye or working from home seamlessly with greater telecommuting and data transfer capabilities.
“UTOPIA’s gig offering is fast, there’s no doubt about that,” said Marriott. “But it’s not just about the speed. It’s about what we can do with it and the slices of connectivity it provides. It’s about the potential for the future that fiber-to-the-premises offers to our communities. With this connectivity, UTOPIA’s member cities can promote economic development for their businesses, enhance quality of life for their residents and encourage the expansion of bandwidth-intensive applications in new industries and the traditional as well, like education, healthcare and municipal.”