This post addresses three topics from my interviews this month with the American Fork City Council: short-term concerns about the overabundance of water, long-term concerns about having enough water for current needs and to sustain growth, and the effort to bring fiber optic connectivity to the entire city, including homes and businesses the major telecom providers have declined to serve.
(Insert your own joke about [water-]soluble dietary fiber here. We’re not talking about that kind of fiber.)
Water, Water Everywhere!
I asked each member of the council what’s going on in the city just now, and they all mentioned water. The water is hard to miss, to be sure, especially if you’ve wandered down toward the harbor lately.
I last posted about American Fork City’s proposed citywide fiber optic utility about three weeks ago. At the time I had some unresolved, long-standing concerns (though I have favored the proposal since before it went public).
Since then, I’ve read some documents, including the City’s service agreement with LightHub Fiber, an interlocal agency through which the utility may be created. (Trust me, no one will want the movie rights to that document.) And I’ve spoken at length with City Administrator David Bunker.
I have new information on a couple of points, which changes my view of one part of the question. I’m also ready to close the loop on those unresolved concerns.
The American Fork City Council continues to weigh the proposal to create a new utility to extend fiber optic connectivity to every residence and business in American Fork. I’ve spoken with members of the city council and others about it in the last couple of week, some briefly and some at greater length. Without presuming to speak in detail for any of them, I thought I might offer a more general update.
In the early weeks of 2019 the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) approached American Fork City officials with an invitation for American Fork to join UTOPIA. The City weighed the offer and declined — but that set some other things in motion.
City leaders began to assemble legal, financial, and technical experts with experience in similar projects around the United States and beyond. Essentially their question was, Is there something better we could do to position American Fork for the future?
This is the third of my planned blog posts about a proposal the American Fork City Council is studying to extend fiber optic connectivity to every residence and business in American Fork as a utility. It’s not on the November ballot, but incumbent candidates will cast key votes as city council members.
The first post gave a quick overview and also mentioned my service on an ad hoc mayoral task force, which examined the proposal deeply from several angles and reported recommendations and concerns to the American Fork City Council. The second post listed several key benefits we can anticipate, if we build the system.
We all come to matters of local, state, and national government from different perspectives. While I favor the proposal and believe the City can execute well enough in this case, it’s possible for intelligent, well-meaning people (among others) to disagree.
I’ve been collecting reasons people have cited for opposing the project. Here I’ll list that collection, add a few more I haven’t heard yet but probably will, and tell you briefly what I think of each. Some are better than others.
This is the second of several planned blog posts about a proposal the American Fork City Council is considering to extend fiber optic connectivity to every residence and business in American Fork as a utility. You can find a more detailed description of the proposal itself in the previous post, where I also explain my head start in knowing about the proposal.
Before we go further, I should interrupt for an apology. I hoped to post this before I left for Lake Tahoe (hence the photo) for a week at the end of July. Now it’s not even August any more, and I’m finally posting it. Sorry about that.
This post explores the expected benefits to residents, businesses, and the City itself, if we build the fiber system. This is one important angle from which to view the proposal. Another will follow in the next post: good and bad reasons for opposing it.
Today American Fork City Council candidate Austin Duke withdrew his name from the November general election ballot, citing "unforeseen personal and family considerations" and endorsing Clark Taylor, Ernie John, and Tim Holley.