County government, two manufacturing businesses want Fibrant service

Published 1:40 pm Wednesday, June 15, 2016

SALISBURY — Two major manufacturing facilities and Rowan County government could become Fibrant customers.

In an early June email to County Manager Aaron Church, Gildan asks the county to allow Fibrant’s lines to be extended down Chamandy Drive, which is a road used to access Gildan’s Salisbury location. Agility Fuel Systems in a May letter to county commissioners also asked for an extension of Fibrant lines. Gildan and Agility Fuel Systems are both located outside of Salisbury’s city limits.

For Rowan County government, Fibrant would be included in a list of providers. County Chief Information Officer Randy Cress said Fibrant wouldn’t immediately become the county’s primary internet provider. Cress said the county would use Fibrant as a backup for a certain period before deciding whether to use the city-owned service as a primary provider.

The Fibrant decisions are scheduled for approval as part of the county commissioners’ consent agenda — used for items with unanimous support — during a 6 p.m. meeting on Monday.

In his letter to commissioners, Agility’s North Carolina Director of Operations Shawn Adelsberger says Fibrant would provide a data connection that would greatly enhance the Salisbury plant’s connectivity.

“This gives us a much more reliable network connection as well as providing a high speed source for our standard internet traffic,” Adelsberger says in his letter. “Such connectivity will help us to maintain our networked manufacturing equipment, to maintain operation for our global customers and to not have product deliver risk due to network slowdowns and interruptions.”

He says Agility currently uses a 20 megabit-per-second internet speed. Fibrant’s top speeds are a number of times faster, topping out at 10 gigabits per second.

The request from Rowan County government comes in the form of a memo from Cress to county commissioners.

“We would like to include all service providers in evaluating communications vendors for overall value, price and service offering to support County needs,” Cress said. “The City of Salisbury, through its Fibrant division has capability and service offering to provide business-class high-speed Internet access for Rowan County local government use.”

Although the City of Salisbury owns and operates Fibrant — an internet, TV and phone service provider — Rowan County would need to approve the Gildan and Agility Fuel System extensions, according to Church.

In a memo to commissioners, Church cites a section of North Carolina law that specifically applies to Fibrant. It states that the Rowan Board of Rowan County Commissioners  shall vote to approve service extension to any governmental economic development site, governmental facility, school, or college owned by Rowan County. The Rowan-Salisbury School board shall also vote to approve service extension to schools.

Excluding Kannapolis, the governmental boards of Rowan County municipalities must approve Fibrant extensions into their city limits. Kannapolis is the only Rowan municipality not listed in state law as being part of Fibrant’s service area.

As part of Monday’s meeting, commissioners would specifically extend Fibrant lines to Chamandy Drive and Summit Corporate Park.