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City OKs contracts for fiber optics

By Shelley Smithssmith@salisburypost.com
Salisbury City Council approved three contracts Tuesday related to its fiber optic network.
The council awarded a contract to buy IPTV (Internet protocol television) software and equipment from Ericsson. Oran Castle, vice president of TV solutions with Ericsson, flew in from Stockholm to attend the Salisbury meeting.
“I came to make sure I understand your expectations and take that back to Ericsson,” said Castle. “I’m very confident we can deliver to you. We are keen to make a success of it.”
Salisbury will have the first Ericsson IPTV contract in North America. IPTV is similar to programs such as digital cable; however, it also has features such as web browsing, chat, cell phone controls, HD, on demand and quick channel changing.
The council awarded a $2 million contract to Zhone for GPON equipment and services. (GPON stands for gigabyte passive optical network.)
And the council OK’d a $278,680 contract with ETI Software Solutions for the operating support system/business support system software for the fiber optic network, and authorized service contracts for the network program.
The council authorized the director of broadband services, Mike Crowell, to sign and award service contracts applicable to the fiber optic network program.
The city is shooting to have an “alpha” test of the system with 20 to 25 people in March, followed by a “beta” test of 100 to 150 potential subscribers in April. The city hopes for a controlled rollout of the new utility next June.
In other business, Mayor Susan Kluttz made several announcements at the closing of the council meeting concerning events going on in Salisbury in the next few weeks.
The Public Art Committee will host a public dedication of the Salisbury Cotton Mills pocket park at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the corner of Church and Fisher streets.
The Cotton Mills park includes artwork created by students from each Rowan-Salisbury elementary school, and includes bricks from the original Cannon Mills facility.
Also happening Saturday is the Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department’s Third-Annual Craft Show.
The show will feature more than 25 vendors showcasing crafts, art and more, and will be held at the Salisbury Civic Center from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The Holiday Caravan parade will be held Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 2 p.m. in Spencer, and at 3 p.m. in downtown Salisbury.
The day after Thanksgiving, Downtown Salisbury will host Holiday Night Out! from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. in downtown Salisbury.

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