Salisbury, N.C.'s Fibrant lights 10G FTTH network

Fibrant, Salisbury, N.C.'s municipal broadband operator, has launched a 10 Gbps FTTH service in an effort to up the ante in the emerging Gigabit broadband race.

Leveraging Calix's E5-520 Ethernet Service Access Node (ESAN), the service provider is making the service available throughout the city to every premises. Already, the new service is being offered at Catawba College, a private academic institution based in Salisbury.

Catawba College's Hoke Hall is the first location to receive 10 Gbps services with infrastructure improvements planned in other campus buildings including the Cannon Student Center and Ralph W. Ketner Hall. In addition, Catawba is designing a strategic blueprint for turning computer labs into Digital Media Creation and Collaboration labs, as well as adding high-speed video conferencing in a number of facilities throughout the campus.

Today, the Fibrant network will support up to 10 Gbps throughout Salisbury via point-to-point Ethernet technology, with a transition to NG-PON technology as it becomes available next year. The service provider said that it will leverage a mix of XGS-PON and NG-PON, both of which will be integrated into Calix's E-Series solutions to deliver Gigabit services to a mix of residential business customers.  

Customer adoption of Fibrant's 1 Gbps service has been slow with only some customers taking advantage of it today. Residential customers can get the 1 Gbps service $105 per month, while businesses can pay $1,700 per month to get a dedicated gigabit Internet connection with enterprise-grade customer support. 

Joining fellow city Wilson, N.C., Salisbury has been one of the early municipal FTTH providers, a trend that's become the ire of incumbent telcos and cable operators. It officially launched its service in 2010 after the city's incumbent players AT&T (NYSE: T) and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) -- two of North Carolina's largest service providers -- failed to get necessary state legislative support to stop municipal broadband from getting off the ground.

Earlier this year, the FCC voted to preempt elements of state laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that were designed to restrict municipal providers in these communities from providing broadband service outside of their current serving area.

For more:
- see the release

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