Fibrant, the first municipally-owned, citywide 10-gigabit fiber option network, has established a free Wi-Fi connection for Salisbury residents and visitors in Cannon Park at 600 Park Ave. The free Wi-Fi project began three years ago before Cannon Park was chosen as the first test site. According to staff members, Cannon Park met all of the requirements for a quick and easy install for a proof of concept.
The installation process included identifying a location with nearby internet connectivity, performing a site survey to ensure adequate coverage, installing structured cabling, also known as a cat5 cable, to the outside of the building and mounting the directional antennas. “Even with the initial installation of Fibrant to the home, our goal as a city was to provide wide-spread connectivity for our residents,” said Dale Waters, information technology manager. “The Cannon Park access now provides an outdoor location for our residents who want to enjoy the weather and connect wirelessly or for those who do not have connectivity at home and want a place nearby to log on to the internet.” Security features are present to prevent inappropriate content downloads and to keep information secure. Fibrant will continue to explore additional outdoor spaces and buildings in which to install access.
The cost to install the 1-gigabit connection was approximately $1,000, including the $66 annual licensing and support fee. The cost will vary to install Fibrant in other outdoor locations due to coverage size and equipment costs. The City Council of Salisbury, NC was unhappy with the lack of broadband service provided by incumbent networks. They invested in building Fibrant as a municipal utility to encourage economic development, increase competitive opportunities for existing businesses and to provide citizens globally competitive access to the world. This municipally-owned utility company provides internet speeds up to 10 gigabits per second, uncompressed high-definition video services, phone services, a localized data center, dark fiber and local ad insertion.