City negotiates antenna contract with AT&T, which will use Fibrant

SALISBURY — City Council approved a lease with AT&T to place antennas on the water tower on North Jackson Street that could generate $330,000 in the next decade.

The number of locations available to place antennas for wireless service are shrinking, Assistant City Manager John Sofley told City Council on Tuesday.

“We have an asset,” Sofley said.

The city negotiated an aggressive contract that charges AT&T, doing business as New Cingular Wireless, $2,500 a month for five years to place six antennas on the tank at 405 N. Jackson St. If the lease is renewed after five years, the rent would go up to $3,000 a month for the second five-year term.

After 10 years, AT&T would have to renegotiate the lease, Sofley said. If the company wants more antennas on the tank, it also would have to renegotiate, he said.

The city insisted that AT&T use Fibrant for its backhaul, meaning the company would use Fibrant’s network for its last mile connection to the water tower. Fibrant is the city’s new high-speed broadband utility.

AT&T will pay an additional fee to use Fibrant, which Sofley said will be around $500.

The city also released first quarter Fibrant financial results on Tuesday. As of Oct. 1, the service had 2,607 total customers, up from 2,549 on Sept. 1, and billed $358,894 for the three services — phone, Internet and cable TV — that Fibrant sells inside the Salisbury city limits.

Fibrant had 2,217 Internet subscribers, 1,377 phone subscribers and 1,961 video subscribers on Oct. 1, according to the city.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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