Skip to main content

Cottonwood Heights Journal

Cottonwood Heights: A utopian dream with new fiber-optic network

Apr 13, 2020 01:33PM ● By Cassie Goff

UTOPIA, a fiber optic infrastructure, will soon be available within Cottonwood Heights. (Photo courtesy of UTOPIA Fiber)

By Cassie Goff | [email protected]

On Feb. 18, the Cottonwood Heights City Council voted to pass Ordinance 340, granting a telecommunications system franchise to UTOPIA. In other words, UTOPIA has now been granted permission to “establish a fiber-optic cable network in, under, along, over, and across present and future public roads, streets, alleys, and other rights-of-way within city limits,” as per the ordinance.

This agreement has been in the works for a few years, as UTOPIA first presented their services to the city council on July 10, 2018. During that presentation, UTOPIA was presented as a fiber-optic infrastructure operating on an open access community fiber network.

That means UTOPIA owns and manages infrastructure while leasing the service lines to private internet provides who deliver the services. UTOPIA has options to provide their service to residential and businesses. It is expected that every resident and business in the city will benefit from competitive pricing and rising property values.

The ordinance grants UTOPIA the “non-exclusive right, privilege and franchise to construct, maintain and operate … a fiber-optic cable to supply internet access, cell site back-haul capacity using fiber-optic cables, and leasing of conduit and dark fiber to third parties.” However, the ordinance does not grant the right to “engage in residential cable TV video service or personal wireless service.”

In the ordinance, it is stated the UTOPIA is responsible for any and all damages to public property of the city, including trees, bushes and other vegetation. In addition, the city has the right to use “all poles and other structures located in the city’s public ways for fire alarms, police signal systems, emergency communication systems and any other lawful public use.”

This agreement will be good for 10 years. After 10 years, the agreement will continue year-to-year with the established terms.

To view this (or another) ordinance, visit the city’s website at and hover over the “your government tab.” Under “Elected Officials” click “Council Actions” for a list of recent ordinances and resolutions.

To learn more about UTOPIA, visit