Salisbury: Fibrant in the Last Days–In October the Lights Go Out in the City’s Grandest Fiasco

Posted on June 7, 2018

Steve Mensing, Editor

♦ It seems like only a few hours ago when they did the soft roll out of the City’s Fiber Optic Broadband back in 2010.  It had debacle written all over it from the start.  The city manager at that time chose a completely unknowledgeable fellow from the city’s police and fire radio to run it–a very sincere yes man, but lacking in any fundamental Broadband acumen.

And then city hall broke its promise to sell their internet, TV, and phone at bargain rates.  They came out against deep pocketed giants like Time-Warner and AT&T by marketing Fibrant’s internet as if it was a fine wine or a high-end Italian sportscar.  We all know how that turned out.  Fibrant’s internet also had no redundancy (no back up signal which no reputable internet private would ever do).  Fibrant paid the price for that major snafu.  Repeatedly in the early years the internet crashed for days and frustrated businesses dropped out because their internet and phones didn’t work.  The recipe for disaster, with zero backup signal, continued telling our citizens that more and more subscribers were signing up.  All was glorious in the “Silicon Valley of the East”.  Within years, when Fibrant was losing millions, they were claiming they turned the corner and were making a small profit.  If that hokum wasn’t enough, they created the ruse they were going to offer 10 Gig internet to every home in Salisbury and they were the fastest internet anywhere in the U.S.A..  10 Gigs never happened.  City Hall’s nose grew so long that it has stretch marks.

The RFP told the world our City Hall had created a hoax just like we reminded everyone Fibrant never turned the corner. Oh, but we were naysayers and liars.

The city’s broadband emulsified the Salisbury Police Department and the city’s core services.  Meanwhile crime mushroomed throughout the city, poverty grew (Over a quarter of our citizens live below the poverty line), the public schools within the city limits got Ds and Fs on the State’s report card, taxes and storm Water fees grew, the city’s sewer and water funds were gobbled up keeping Fibrant alive. The Downtown area looks like postcards from the “Great Depression”. There lots more.

Now Fibrant is in its final days before they turn off its lights in October, when Hotwire Communications is supposed to take over.  Well,  Fibrant has no redundancy again.  Fibrant employees are jumping ship and getting jobs elsewhere. They know better than to depend on the city for jobs. The skeleton staff can not manage working on weekends. If your internet, telephone, or TV goes out on the weekend–well tough luck.

PS. I’m in Salisbury and Rowan County everyday by the miracle of Super High-Speed Internet and telephone.  900 miles away can be traversed in a microsecond via a digital or telephonic impulse.  Trust me I never left.  As for me being a grinch and a negative person–I’m the most positive person whoever stalked the streets and roadways of Salisbury and Rowan County.  Anyone who knows me knows I’m an extremely happy person who sees the world through a humorous, yet realistic lens.  I don’t confabulate reality, I don’t talk out of both sides of my mouth, I keep confidences, and one heck of a lot of people trust me in Rowan County and Salisbury.  I tell and write the truth and am unyielding about it.

There was a scene in the motion picture “American Sniper” where the sniper’s wife turned to him (he was back home in Texas at the time) and told him “You never left Afghanistan”.  Someone turned to me in that Madison movie theater and told me “You never left Salisbury”.

I nodded.

Salisbury: Does Anyone Believe that Fision AKA Hotwire Can Show a Profit in Salisbury’s Saturated Field of Private Broadband Providers:

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