CLEARFIELD — UTOPIA Fiber is coming to Clearfield.
On Thursday, UTOPIA announced a $13.8 million agreement with the city to build a fiber-to-the-home network, giving the city's 32,000 residents access to some of the nation’s fastest internet speeds.
The first home is expected to be connected in late 2020. Clearfield will be the 15th Utah city to have residential service through the inter-local agency. UTOPIA started as a group of 11 cities that joined together in 2004 to bring fiber internet to residences and businesses in their areas. The group lays down fiber optic cables, then leases the infrastructure to local internet service providers so residents can choose from a variety of providers.
It’s already been a busy year for UTOPIA. In February, the company announced West Point would be getting residential service; in April, it finished the infrastructure build for Morgan; and in July, it announced a project to help fight wildfires. And that’s all with internet demand surging. UTOPIA saw sign-ups actually grow from June to July — a pattern that has been consistent since the pandemic took hold.
Clearfield Mayor Mark Shepherd said the city’s population is expected to increase by nearly 50% by 2040, and he believes the agreement with UTOPIA is key to a successful economic growth in the city.
"Our residents require better internet options, the freedom to choose from multiple providers, faster speeds, and affordable prices," Shepard said in a statement. "UTOPIA Fiber has been delivering that for our business community and we’re excited to expand fiber access to every home in the city."
Once the network is constructed, residents can choose between 13 service providers via UTOPIA Fiber’s open access model. Prices begin at $65 per month.
With the coronavirus pandemic driving internet usage to record levels, UTOPIA executive director Roger Timmerman said in a statement the new infrastructure will help Clearfield residents better adapt to a world that is going more and more online.
"Clearfield residents will now have the power to work remotely, participate in distance learning, access telehealth, and stream video on multiple connected devices, without the slowdowns or buffering of a typical network,” Timmerman said.
The $13.8 million projects is being financed through revenue bonds issued through UTOPIA Fiber’s sister agency, UIA, and backed by the city. Like all UTOPIA Fiber projects since 2009, the Clearfield build will be paid for by subscriber revenues.