UTOPIA completes $24M fiber project in Syracuse, Utah

UTOPIA Fiber has wrapped up another open access fiber build, announcing Thursday it completed construction in Syracuse, Utah.

The $23.5 million project, which began in November 2021, marks UTOPIA’s fourth completed fiber build in 2023 and covers 12,324 residential addresses. Service is available for business customers as well, though UTOPIA didn’t state how many business addresses are now live.

Syracuse is the 17th city on UTOPIA’s open access network, which spans Utah, Idaho and Montana. Like all of UTOPIA’s networks, this project is fully funded through subscriber revenue.

“We are excited to bring Syracuse City into alignment with its neighboring communities like Clearfield, Layton, and West Point, UT,” said UTOPIA CEO Roger Timmerman in a statement.

UTOPIA offers speeds of up to 10 Gbps for residential customers and up to 100 Gbps for businesses. CMO Kim McKinley told Fierce in September “well over 300” UTOPIA residential subscribers have signed up for the 10-gig tier.

“It’s not just about providing internet service; it's about creating an equitable, competitive landscape,” Timmerman continued. “Our open access model ensures that Syracuse residents and businesses have access to the same high-quality, diverse range of internet services as their neighbors, bridging the digital divide, and ensuring fair prices.”

The completion of UTOPIA’s Syracuse project comes around two months after the operator announced it finished a $20 million build in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Under an open access model, one company deploys networks then leases them to multiple ISPs. UTOPIA is one of several open access fiber providers that have been expanding their footprint in the U.S., along with companies like Intrepid Fiber, Tillman FiberCo, SiFi Networks and Ubiquity.

A report from CoBank in October urged rural telcos to keep an eye out on open access network builders who are “hungry for growth.”

CoBank’s lead communications economist Jeff Johnston then said, “Rural operators are probably safe for now. But over time as the institutional investors look for new fertile ground, some rural markets may become a bigger priority.”