Provo network benefits community

2011-09-09T00:00:30Z Provo network benefits communityBryan Peterson Daily Herald
September 09, 2011 12:00 am  • 

I connected to iProvo (via Mstar) within two weeks of service becoming available in my area. Over the years I have used almost every service from 110 baud acoustic couplers through 1200, 2400, and 56k baud modems and 256k DSL. I jumped over the shared-bandwidth cable connections because the reliable, dedicated bandwidth fiber became available at about the same time.

I only have phone and Internet service so I can't speak to the TV service. But during the roughly five years that I have had service, including the provider switches, my service has been excellent. I believe that there have only been two times that my service was actually disrupted by something other than my own equipment. One of those was almost immediately corrected and the second took several hours. Every contact I have had with the technical support at all three of the providers over the years has been positive.

This morning (admittedly during a very low traffic period) the CNet bandwidth meter clocked my connection at 13600 kbps. If I had to, I could go back to the 7000 kbps advertised by some providers with full knowledge that those providers are providing shared bandwidth and my speed will depend on how many of my neighbors are also using the service. And most providers will not tell you what their upload speeds are.

I could opt for DSL at 3000 kbps download/896 kbps upload speeds. That is the best that is available at my home.

I would prefer to stay with my current connection, which gives nominally 15,000 kbps for both upload and download. I use my connection for working from home and it is frequent that I am moving large files both directions so I find a fast upload speed to be almost as important as the download speed.

Yes, the iProvo system cost $39 million (give or take some) to build. That is roughly the same cost as our new rec center for which ground was just broken. I use the fiber infrastructure every day. I can count on two hands the number of times I have even been to the existing rec center in the 27 years I have lived in Provo. Since my family is grown it is likely that the number of times I use the new rec center will be even less.

I will be paying for the rec center whether I use it or not. I will be paying for the fiber infrastructure whether I use it or not. That is just the nature of government services.

We all benefit from these services whether we use them directly or not. It may be Internet access for the schools and government offices or recreation services for our youth and elderly. They all contribute to the quality of life. (And many of the services have the potential to compete with private, commercial services. Ask Gold's Gym if the rec center is going to compete with their service, for example).

These services are available and each individual is free to choose whether she or he wishes to take advantage of any given service. We make our choices of what we wish to use. But just because I am not interested in a particular service doesn't mean that the city shouldn't provide it. They all contribute to the overall quality of life for our citizens.

Bryan Peterson is a resident of Provo.

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