David Rodeback's Blog

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008
American Fork Municipal Broadband Update

Negotiations continue, and an agreement may be coming soon.

I recently read of the sale of iProvo, Provo's municipal broadband system, to Broadweave Networks. Even more recently, I read that Broadweave is acquiring another company, Veracity Communications, to help them deliver better service to their new Provo customers. iProvo has more customers and more potential customers, and it has fiber optics where American Fork's municipal system (AFCNet) has copper wire, so the $40.6 million sale price shouldn't get American Forkers' blood pumping too much. According to news reports, the amount is enough to repay the remaining outstanding bonds Provo used to fund the system.

These stories reminded me that I have not updated you lately on the status of AFCNet's prospective sale to Surpha. So I asked around. Last we heard, the letter of intent had been extended, because negotiations were ongoing. I reported that everyone was officially optimistic, even as I noted that, until there is a deal, there is no deal.

This time, as usual, City officials told me some things on the record and other things off the record. What I can tell you is that negotiations are actually proceeding -- not stalled -- and that there is a reasonable expectation of an actual agreement in the near future. I also learned, in case you're interested, that the prospective purchaser, Surpha, has begun to operate as one of AFCNet's ISPs (internet service providers), having taken over an existing ISP's customers in order to maintain those customers' service. They must have done it right; I didn't notice the switch -- unless that's why my service seems even faster of late.

It's still true that, until there is a deal, there is no deal. But, having heard what I have lately heard, I'm feeling more optimistic than I was last time that there actually will be a deal and that the system will continue to exist.

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