Home » Community Networks »Public Policy & Gov't »Video » Currently Reading:

Wilson, North Carolina Builds Its Own Municipal Fiber Optic System When Others Didn’t Step Up

Phillip Dampier April 23, 2009 Community Networks, Public Policy & Gov't, Video 5 Comments
Wilson, North Carolina - An All America City for the 21st Century

Wilson, North Carolina - An All America City for the 21st Century

Wilson, North Carolina recognizes the transformation of the economy of North Carolina, as manufacturing moves overseas and new high technology businesses get underway. In the new technology economy, a local community like Wilson cannot afford to be left behind by an incumbent cable and telephone company that bypasses their area, missing out on the latest upgrades and enhancements. So city officials decided enough was enough and floated a bond issue, without using any taxpayer money, to construct their own fiber optic network to service residential and business customers with a state of the art broadband platform.

The result was Greenlight, the most advanced fiber optics system in the area, and it actually saves customers money while providing them with service far beyond what the other guys are selling (and they don’t have usage caps.)

But as we’ll learn in this report from WRAL in Raleigh, Time Warner sniffs at the competition, suggesting the expenses going forward will put the project in an untenable position.  Wouldn’t it be better to shelve it now before you waste a lot of money?  Wilson wonders if this will be the last word from Time Warner on their fiber optic project.  Stay tuned… the picture will get snowier.  A lot snowier.

thumbs-up1WRAL did a very good job packing a lot of information from all sides into a two minute package.  I found it interesting WRAL seems to be the only station in the area spending a considerable amount of airtime in their newscasts on the Wilson story, which would soon develop into a major controversy.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
T.M.
T.M.
12 years ago

More cities, towns and villages should look closely at Wilson and seriously consider following their commendable lead on this issue. The internet will be as impotent as any utility in the near future, and already is to many. Nobody would dream of selling water for your home on a private market like they do with internet service.

austin#7889
austin#7889
12 years ago

Thanks Phil for confirming that they don’t cap. 🙂

Even if the city uses tax money (which IT DIDN’T), I wouldn’t mind all if my tax money is used that way, much better than wasting it all for wars and bailouts. In fact, if they do it in Austin, I’ll be happy to pay more tax for a few years to fund the network setup.

arhyarion
arhyarion
12 years ago

Seriously. This is an excellent idea. Every city which has one ISP holding a virtual monopoly on broadband internet should be examining this possibility. How much longer until Time Warner starts punitively cancelling your service like they have begun in Austin? Let’s find out what it would take to set up similar services in our own town. The new behavior of Time Warner in Austin is the last straw. Even if they don’t cap now, we should all be doing our best to get away from this corporation. I will be investigating what it will take to replicate Wilson’s success… Read more »

Mike R
Mike R
12 years ago

I’m biased, but it seems that that Fairport (especially the village) would be a perfect fit for this.

Why?

1 ) Most of the village has above ground poles, make wiring much easier
2 ) The poles are owned and maintained by a municipal agency already (Fairport Electric)
3 ) The property density is high — less fiber to wire per household.

damix
damix
12 years ago

In Texas, a state law prohibits municipalities from providing certain broadband services like wireless. At the time, few paid attention to the law, lobbied by SBC, ATT and Time Warner. Essentially, it reduces competition by taking municipalities out of the field of potential competitors. If it were not in place, Time Warner wouldn’t dare attempt what they propose for Austin since we already have a functioning city wide public utility(Austin Energy) that could afford to embark on a city wide high speed broadband effort. City of Austin should lobby to change that law at the state level. Time Warner sees… Read more »

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

Your Account:

Stop the Cap!