Timpanogos Storytelling Festival 2

The audience laughs along to Bill Harley's musical stories at the Timpanogos Stoytelling Festival in Provo Canyon in 2015.

The ancient art of storytelling got a big boost into the 21st century with the help of Orem, UTOPIA and Utah Department of Transportation.

Mt. Timpanogos Park, at the mouth of Provo Canyon, just had a complete buildout of a brand new fiber network. The collaboration of the three entities will bring high-speed public Wi-Fi to the park and the Timpanogos Storytelling festival for the first time.

The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival is held Thursday through Saturday at the park and at other locations in Orem.

The park will also be the home to a new one-acre dog park this coming spring. Owners can bring their dog to play and use the Wi-Fi while they let dogs run.

“The Timpanogos Storytelling Festival is an Orem tradition,” Orem City Manager Jamie Davidson said. “Working with UTOPIA on this project has allowed us to make this event even better, in addition to improving the park overall.”

Over the past few years Orem has had complaints about the lack of internet connectivity at the festival and saw the need for Wi-Fi at the park for events and everyday usage.

The request was made easier because UDOT has already laid conduits through Provo Canyon.

“We are excited to be able to make use of the UTOPIA fiber network to improve the experience at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival,” said Roger Timmerman, executive director. “We worked with Orem City and identified this as a location that we could connect at a relatively low cost and would benefit a large number of visitors.”

Timmerman said the partnership with UDOT allowed them to utilize its conduit system to complete the connection for a relatively low cost.

“The connection to the park from UTOPIA is a 10 Gbps connection that will support the wireless system that Orem City is installed throughout the park,” Timmerman said. “We expect that this will be of great benefit to the park visitors as well as providing connectivity for vendors, presenters, city services, and many other purposes.”

Timmerman said they did have a few issues with the installation and bringing the fiber across the Provo River canal.

The best part according to Timmerman was being able to offer not just 1 but 10 Gbps.

“It seems like overkill,” Timmerman said. “But the cost difference was negligible. We’re excited about this. We look for small projects we can do that give us the biggest bang for our buck. We didn’t have to spend much money from the city.”

Timmerman said bringing a park online is not uncommon and that UTOPIA has done this in other cities.

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801)344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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