Brad Frost American Fork Mayor
Jul 27, 2019

Regarding Thomas Edison’s invention of the incandescent lightbulb in 1880, German historian Emil Ludwig commented, “When Edison … snatched up the spark of Prometheus in his little pear-shaped glass bulb, it meant that fire had been discovered for the second time, that mankind had been delivered again from the curse of night.”

Edison’s new lightbulb was revolutionary to an America dimly lit by coal and gas. It was both exciting and scary to the public. Most didn’t understand how it worked and some were in opposition to its possibilities as it threatened previous lighting industries. Though the average American was allured by the bright lights, they wondered if this would really be something they would benefit from.

Fast forward to today and we all see electricity is an indispensable part of life; a basic infrastructure across the country. What was once novel is now a basic utility in every home. We also see that lighting a home is just a fraction of what electricity does for us. The early adopters of electricity quickly benefited from its value far beyond what they even realized at the time.

Fiber optics is for us today what electricity was to America in the early 20th century: the new basic utility. Just as electricity as a utility has powered millions of innovations, so too fiber will be the base utility that will allow for future technological breakthroughs to occur. American Fork wants to be ready for the innovations that are to come.