Salisbury: Why Fibrant is a Massive Debacle and an Extraordinary Ripoff and Why Spectrum is Eating Fibrant’s Business and Residential Lunch

Posted on May 19, 2017

Steve Mensing, Editor

♦ Let’s correct something. Fibrant is not a “Ferrari in the garage”. Both Spectrum and AT&T have more fiber optic in Salisbury than Fibrant. And Fibrant’s aging fiber optic often needs to replaced because the local squirrels gnaw its covering, letting water seep in to degrade the signal.  Both AT&T (unless it’s Gigapower) and Spectrum (unless it’s their fiber optic dedicated Ethernet) only use coaxial cable between the house and the node.  That coaxial cable is connected to a channel-bonded DOCSIS system capable of carrying up to a gig or more.

Why has Fibrant grown into such a massive debacle? And why will it prove to be more so in 2017?  Partly because of our City Hall “Visionaries”, who foisted Fibrant on its citizens and then created a series of poison pills to make it almost impossible to cut loose.  Our visionaries were desperate to bring business here, and in their neediness they did not see the future of the internet, the telephone, or TV.  They knew nothing about broadband or the coming technology developments.  Fiber Optic in the near future will be replaced by wireless invention and power line innovation.

Our city hall visionaries never paid any attention to a number of basic facts:

(1) Salisbury has an immense of amount of poverty that will likely grow in the coming years.  About a quarter of our city lives below the poverty line–they can’t afford computers or internet.  (Spectrum sells 30 Mbps internet for a cheapo price of $14.95 a month for qualified customers whose children are in school lunch programs).

(2) Many older folks in Salisbury don’t bother with computers or own them.  If they use computers at all, they use our public library computers.

(3)  Many folks, especially young people, use their smart phones or wireless enabled tablets to get on the net.  They don’t need computers, fiber optic networks, or even cable to get on the internet.  They go wireless.

(4) A substantial number of nationwide businesses like insurance, fast food corporations, hotels/motels, and health care providers use their corporation’s FREE dedicated Ethernet or T-Lines–they can’t go with Fibrant.

(5) People are dumping landline home or business phones to go wirelessly with their smartphones.  If they use landlines (now solely over the internet) they use super cheapo VOIP providers like Magic JackGO or the Magic Jack Business phone.  Magic JackGo is the king of the hill among all U.S. VOIP providers.  Fibrant phone (a stone age CATV 5 VOIP phone) is completely out of contention in the home and business phone race in Salisbury.  They can’t compete with smartphones or Magic JackGO in price or performance.

(6) Salisbury businesses are dropping away like flies to Spectrum with their $59 bargain price, NO Contract, (Hey they won’t turn off your water if your business can’t afford to pay up on their exorbitant Fibrant bills), and offer far higher speeds.

Okay why is Fibrant’s TV noncompetitive?  Why are consumers avoiding it?  Not only are the prices astronomical, the set top boxes outdated–the screens still freeze up, the channel selection isn’t so hot, Fibrant’s TV Everywhere doesn’t match up with Spectrum, DISH, or AT&T U-Verse/DirecTV’s TV Everywhere.

Also many people have “cut the cord”–they use inexpensive omnidirectional antennas to get a pile of FREE over the air stations in HD and they employ internet devices like ROKU, Fire TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast to receive a growing number of inexpensive TV channel packages and Free Movies.

Not only are Fibrant’s stated prices for internet, TV, and phone too high–Fibrant is gouging their Salisbury customer’s backdoor style though dipping into the water and sewer funds, siphoning money from the Salisbury Police Department budget, the street’s department, and solid waste pickup for starters.  Fibrant brought no new business to Salisbury–in fact it’s effect on all the city’s systems has helped chase economic development away.

A lot of people living out in the county’s municipalities and towns forced to buy Salisbury-Rowan Utility’s water are extremely ticked about Salisbury illegally siphoning money from SRU’s funds and ratcheting up their water bills.  Many county folks are talking strongly about a full-tilt boycott of Salisbury–especially it’s forlorn Downtown.  There’s a lot of innocent people in the Downtown who opened businesses there and won’t last a year because of the lack of traffic and extremely high-overhead.  They pay that huge Municipal Services District tax to support a decrepit flop house and many got suckered into triple net leases.   People fear going down there anyway where they could get shot, knifed, or have their head caved in by a rock–or their car gets broken into for a box full of change.

People ask me why do they continue with Fibrant–it long ago proved it won’t sell.  There’s a new theory being batted around why Salisbury city hall continues to pitch the Fibrant debacle.  They believe some of the city’s so-called elite invested heavily in the City’s tax free/high interest (currently 5.65%) certificates of participation and they don’t want cash flow to stop.

If enough folks dump their Fibrant subscriptions, the city won’t be able to support the Debacle and the LGC will step in and responsibly run the Salisbury’s City Hall.  Maybe even do a much needed forensic audit on Fibrant and other city departments.

Spectrum Announces Free Internet Speed Upgrade for Customers in Rowan County and Salisbury.  Base Customer Speed is now 200 Mbps:

Rolls Out 1 Gigabit Internet Speeds in Charlotte-Raleigh Markets.  Regular Internet Speeds Increased from 100 Mbps to 200 Mbps

Salisbury: Spectrum’s High Powered Marketing Wolfing Down the Fibrant Debacle’s Limited Subscribership.  Full Page Ad in Sundays Paper:

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