The Fibrant Debacle’s Latest Stay of Execution is MAYBE leasing Fibrant to Hotwire Communications if They Pass a Voter Referendum

Posted on February 13, 2018

RFP Staff

♦ Salisbury’s latest “stay of execution” for the Fibrant Debacle is MAYBE leasing Fibrant to Hotwire Communications.  I asked a friend back in Philadelphia how Hotwire Communications was doing there. He called me and said they were a pretty much a nonentity in Philly being drowned out by Comcast, Verizon Fios, Dish, and DirecTV.

My friend said Hotwire Communications only did dorms, hotels, public housing, multi-family dwellings, and office buildings.  He never noticed any of Hotwire Communications marketing–basically they were lost in the rear of a very crowded field.  Nationwide they never made a recognized top 10 list for internet customer satisfaction anywhere.

Then he sent me a pile of YELP, Rippoff Report, etc. reviews where the overwhelming majority of reviewers gave them one star reviews or 2 stars at best.

Sounds just right for a company MAYBE managing the Fibrant Debacle. Reviews, etc. for Hotwire Communications:

Recently Salisbury City Council adopted a resolution authorizing submitting a Fibrant lease proposal to Salisbury voters to vote on in May.

According to a recent City of Salisbury notice on the City government website, The City of Salisbury is in negotiations to enter into a “possible” lease agreement with Hotwire Communications, a privately-owned fiber optics telecommunications provider, to provide services over the City’s fiber network. If negotiations are successful, an interim management agreement would become effective in late winter.

Leasing Fibrant’s system would be required to be submitted to a referendum of Salisbury voters simultaneously with the May primary election and would be subject to satisfaction of other conditions.  The City of Salisbury entered into preliminary negotiations with Hotwire in spring 2017. Hotwire proposes to lease the Fibrant system on a long-term basis. Negotiations continue toward a final management agreement and lease.

“Fibrant and its operation have been delicate subjects in our community for a number of years, understandably so,” said W. Lane Bailey, city manager. ”Improving the fiscal success of Fibrant is important to the financial well-being of the city, and we believe entering into this lease agreement would be a step in the right direction. We are optimistic that a long-term lease agreement between the city and Hotwire will move forward after the referendum votes are tallied, freeing funds to complete other city projects.”

A lease of the Fibrant system would require the city’s existing tax-exempt financing to be converted, at least in part, to a taxable financing. The city has notified the State treasurer’s office regarding the potential change.

If the resolution is passed by City Council and lease negotiations successfully completed, Salisbury residents would vote on the long-term lease agreement during the May primary election on Tuesday, May 8. If the referendum passes and the bond arrangements completed and other conditions satisfied, the arrangement would be effective beginning Sunday, July 1, 2018.

Hotwire Communications, a privately owned all-fiber service provider, has been providing fiber-based telecommunication services since 2000. Hotwire offers a suite of services to residential, commercial, hospitality, government, and educational customers in multiple states, primarily in the Southeast. Hotwire is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL with regional offices in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Philadelphia.

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