Orem Joins UTOPIA

The city council of Orem UT, a city of 85,000 people just North of Provo, voted unanimously last night to join UTOPIA. That means that they will pledge sales tax revenue to back the bonds needed to build the network. I was at the meeting and spoke in the public hearing portion. What I told them was that all the talk of bandwidth totally missed the mark on why UTOPIA was important. I told them that UTOPIA fundamentally changes everything because it is an open network instead of the closed networks of Qwest and Comcast. At some point I'll write all that up. Here's what the paper chose to print from my speech:

"Your job is not to make sure that Comcast and Qwest get a fair shake. Your job is to help citizens get services," Lindon resident Phil Windley told the City Council.
From deseretnews.com | Orem Council votes to join UTOPIA
Referenced Thu Mar 11 2004 17:23:01 GMT-0700

Its refreshing to be quoted in the paper and not be identified as the former CIO of Utah. Laura Warner is from the Deseret New's Utah County bureau and to her, I'm just a Lindon resident. Cool.

My message wasn't really anit-Qwest or anti-Comcast, at least that's not how I thought of it, but that's clearly the piece that fit into the standard "X vs. Y" metaphor that the press likes to use to explain public policy decisions.