Yesterday the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) announced that it would be reducing its residential 1Gbps service. The price? Starting at only $64.95 a month. That is a huge price cut considering the previous price was $299 a little more than a year ago, making it too expensive for your average resident.
The price reduction was obviously a response to Google Fiber, which should be in several parts of Provo City by the end of this year. While Google Fiber is only offered in Provo, where UTOPIA isn’t offered, locals around the state have seen the possibility of getting such fast internet for such a small price, making competitors such as Comcast and UTOPIA sweat. Currently Google is planning on offering a 1 Gbps internet service for only $70 a month with only a $30 installation fee and no contracts. You also have the option of getting 5 Mbps internet completely free for at least 7 years with a $30 installation fee also with no contracts.
Because Google Fiber won’t be offered in cities like Orem anytime soon, this may be the best option Orem has for fast and affordable internet. Comcast is slashing prices, but their pricing still doesn’t hold a candle to Google Fiber’s service.
But is the UTOPIA deal as good as it sounds? With almost every service company that offers “awesome deals” there is a catch. The catch for UTOPIA just might be the installation fee. According to their website, in order to have the services tied to your home, so you only have to pay the monthly service fee, you have these options for your installation fee:
Otherwise you can lease the service with a two-year contract and pay an additional $30 a month on top of your regular service fee.
While I’m happy to see UTOPIA is making steps to up their game, I’m still very disappointed in their installation fees. I am glad to see Google Fiber expose the potential that these companies have had all along. These companies such as UTOPIA and Comcast could of offered high speeds for low pricing a long time ago, but they chose not to because they enjoyed the lack of competition. While Google Fiber has numerous benefits for Provo City, the fact that is is forcing other competitors to increase performance and lower costs is a blessing to the rest of the state.