Salisbury, N.C.’s Latest Publicity Ruse: Becoming “America’s 10 Gig City” when Fibrant is a Minus $12.6 Million Super Fiasco

Posted on September 7, 2015



Steve Mensing, Editor

♦ City Hall’s latest publicity ruse to distract Salisbury voters from Fibrant’s immense debacle and Salisbury’s continued freefall is called “America’s 10 gig city”.  Let them eat cake and forget all about the Salisbury’s death rattles.  Anybody who has paid remote attention to Salisbury knows the following:

• Horrific public schools within the city limits (All the schools got either a D or an F).  Rampant illiteracy in the schools.

• 11 unsolved murders.

• Salisbury suffers from 25% poverty according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

• Salisbury’s downgraded bond status with Moody’s and Fitch bond rating services due to $7.6 million big gulped from the water and sewer funds.  Today that bond rating has become even more precarious owing to recent discoveries in the audit of the 2014-15 budget.

• Runaway violent and property crime with an understaffed and underpaid police department who seek better paying jobs elsewhere. Our police department is guided by Chief Rory Collins who moonlights as security at the Housing Authority and can’t count or name the 11 unsolved murders.

• The city’s lack of meaningful and well-paying jobs forcing many of our workforce to commute to Concord, Mooresville, Charlotte, and Greensboro.

• Most of our educated young have fled Salisbury.  They are not coming back.

• A crumbling water and sewer system is dire need of millions in upgrading.  They sure could use that $7.6 million dollars Fibrant “borrowed” and can’t pay back.

• Fibrant’s utter failure at selling 1 gig (Fibrant only sold 3 subscriptions) and the audited 2014-2015 budget (page 47 of 168) shows the “Broadband Services Funds” total net position is negative $12.6 million bucks.  Fibrant is the DEBACLE city council has tried desperately to hide from the public with magic math and now the 10 gig publicity ruse.

• The Downtown with its South Main Badlands, the decrepit Empire Bat-Tel in dire need of bulldozing, and an expanding array of vacant storefronts is an unappetizing picture of blight.

• Somewhere in the vicinity of 800 abandoned and crumbling houses exist in the Bury. Large portions of Salisbury’s Downtown would make the perfect set for the movie version of “Grand Theft Auto”.

• Dead-in-the-water economic development due to poverty, lack of spendable income, and FBI crime stats.

• A city overwhelmed by a mushrooming heroin, meth, crack, and alcohol epidemic.  A lot of our folks can’t even pass a drug test to get a job if one existed.

OK Salisbury’s city hall, instead of being even remotely honest, keeps hiding a crowded morgue full of financial bodies.  Hence the 10 gig ruse.

REALITY CHECK TIME:

• Salisbury, N.C. is not America’s first 10 gig city.  That distinction belongs to Minneapolis. And after Minneapolis comes Santa Monica. There’s several others out there or in the works.  I should mention that 10 gig is available though TWC dedicated Ethernet to businesses/institutions in North Carolina.  In reality a miniscule number of buyers exist for 10 gigs.  Remember Fibrant had a difficult time attempting to pimp even 1 gig.

• There’s this bs being slung that Fibrant’s 10 gigs will be available to all premises in Salisbury.  Think of all those halfway houses, Rowan Helping Ministries giant homeless shelter, the 25%ers, those trailer courts out on Airport road, the section 8 abodes, the gang hideouts, the public housing complexes, why even the working class folks who haven’t yet fled the city, are they willing to cough up $4,800 dollars a year for the privilege of 10 gig stupefying overkill symmetrical internet.  Trouble is if you had 100 Mbps you wouldn’t notice the difference in speed unless you were pirating movies at blip-speed.

• Knowing that Fibrant gives discounts to the city’s friends, how much is Catawba going to pay for 10 gigs?  Or is it getting a special reduced rate or even a freebie? Another Salisbury case of one hand washing the other?

Ask yourselves why did Salisbury’s city council cover up Fibrant’s extreme failure? Why are they being so neurotic about not fessing up? People make mistakes–even HUGE mistakes. People usually forgive them after a decade or two of becoming pariahs. So why the cover up?

• They can’t stand people laughing at their wild claims of being great and noble visionaries?

• City council and their magic math figured Fibrant’s massive losses in excess of $12.6 million could be masked by false claims of making a profit. After all famed Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels boasted: “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.” (The little cretin shot himself and his family in a bunker before the Russians could expand his family’s gene pool)

• City council had a winning formula of covering up Fibrant’s liabilities, since on April 3, 2015, Moody’s bond rating service decided to affirm Salisbury’s mediocre Baa3 bond rating, and concluded the financial outlook was “stable”.  That could change in a hurry.

• City council worried news may leak about Fibrant’s installation of overhead fiber cabling did not meet the National Electric Safety Code (NESC), an estimated $4 million liability to bring those cables into compliance.  The ugly fact is that unlimited liability may be associated with an electrocution hazard for linemen, causing Salisbury’s insurance underwriter to drop the city’s coverage for its recklessness.

• City council may fear that the non-code-compliant overhead Fibrant cable liability may cause Moody’s and Fitch’s bond rating services to take a second look at the “stable” financial outlook of the City of Salisbury, resulting in a below junk-bond status rating, and an immediate run to the county commissioners to plead for an assist with the city’s borrowing and spending addiction.

Predictions about Salisbury’s 10 Gig Ruse:

Fibrant does not at present have the capacity to move 10 Gigs through the “pipe”. They will need to spend quite a bit of money to become an actual 10 gig performer. They have a difficult time even selling 1 gig subscriptions.

The only buyers for 10 gigs are giant server farms. The fellows who own giant server farms are broadband giants like TWC and AT&T. Get real–nobody is going to build a server farm in Salisbury. Easy prediction: Fibrant will never sell 10 gig subscription (a) Because they don’t have 10 gigs. (b) Because there are no takers in this region.

More hokum from the “City of Make Believe.”

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