City Manager: Fibrant may be leased to Hotwire

City Manager: Fibrant may be leased to Hotwire

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Salisbury's broadband utility known as Fibrant, may soon be leased to Hotwire for operations, according to Salisbury City Manager Lane Bailey.

Bailey talked about the progress with Hotwire during the City Council meeting on Tuesday.

"Hotwire is the nation's fastest internet provider," Bailey said. "This will go a long way towards solving some of the financial challenges that we face with this utility," Bailey said. "The requests stated the city's interest in a third-party provider to arrange an arrangement that would enhance our Fibrant service to the community and indicated the city was flexible in various types of proposals,"

For the lease to go forward, state law requires the public to vote in a referendum for approval. Bailey presented a resolution on Tuesday that would allow the City to draft a proposed ballot measure to submit to the Rowan County Board of Elections.

Bailey would then request that the measure be put on the primary election ballot for May 8.

The search for a third party to operate Fibrant began in January, 2017.

At that time Bailey said the goal was to improve the financial situation for Fibrant and the City.

"Right now the general fund is subsidizing Fibrant to the tune of about, almost $2.2 million a year," Bailey said. "We're just committed to improving the financial performance and that's the number one goal."

Bailey said current customers should not see any changes in their service. "They will continue to have best speeds in service area," Bailey said.

Copyright 2018 WBTV.  All rights reserved.