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Macquarie began pursuing the UTOPIA deal in 2013. Known primarily for transit projects, Macquarie Capital Group is a subsidiary of Macquarie Group Limited, an Australian investment and management firm with projects in 28 countries and a market capitalization of $14 billion.
The company believes it can deliver a finished UTOPIA network on a set timetable and run it at a profit in a 30-year concession contract with member cities, which would keep ownership of the grid.
Under its public-private partnership model, city governments no longer would manage the network directly, instead setting benchmarks on service that Macquarie would contract to meet.
Under Macquarie’s plan, UTOPIA would remain an open network, with access available on a wholesale basis to private Internet service providers, who could in turn offer retail services such as Web access or video on demand to customers over Macquarie-operated fiber.
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