Salisbury, N.C. Becomes First 10 Gig City in The US


Look out Google Fiber – Salisbury, N.C. is the first 10-gigabit city in the US. The city has partnered with Calix to deliver the network through the municipally-owned Fibrant service. That’s right, it’s a 10 gig municipal network.

The first 10 Gbps service is being offered at Catawba College, a private academic institution based in Salisbury. The college says it is using the network to differentiate itself from other institutions in the area in order to attract students.

After five years of building out its fiber network and launching gigabit services last year, Fibrant is now ready to offer the highest city-wide speeds available in any U.S. community by leveraging Calix systems. The Fibrant network now supports up to 10 Gbps services throughout Salisbury via point-to-point Ethernet technology today, with a transition to next generation Passive Optical Network (PON) technology as it becomes available in 2016.

Salisbury first started building its municipal network after frustration from the lack of options offered by the monopoly providers – AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, etc. North Carolina has been at the forefront of conversations about municipal broadband in recent months after the FCC decided to allow municipalities in North Carolina to go around local laws and build. (Read our prior coverage of North Carolina’s laws blocking networks here and the challenge in Salisbury here and about the coordinated attack on municipal broadband here.)

“Salisbury has been at the forefront of broadband services and speeds for years now, but today, we are taking the next step to set ourselves apart from other cities with our citywide 10 Gbps service,” said Kent Winrich, director of broadband infrastructure for Fibrant. “As America’s first 10 gig city, our community has an edge in economic development. Fibrant is helping our existing businesses grow and attracting new companies to Salisbury.”

Calix won contracts in several states in recent years following the release of BTOP Funds and also supports other municipal networks. As CivSource previously reported, the company is also working on the Longmont, Colorado project.