Hotwire to offer new income-based bundle, open store downtown

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 30, 2019

SALISBURY — Hotwire Communications has begun offering income-based fast-speed internet bundles to Salisbury residents and will open a downtown store.

These moves come as Hotwire is “reaching out to those who are still on the fence,” said Michael Grandizio, Hotwire’s general manager.

About April, the company began offering new bundles to low-income residents looking for a fast, reliable internet connection, said Katelin Rice, Hotwire’s community development manager. The income-based offer will start at $14.99 at for 50-megabit-per-second speed for city residents, Rice said.

“Everything is technology-based now,” she said. “Without good internet, kids can’t do their homework; they can’t research for projects.”

The internet is used for much more than just streaming and gaming, Rice said.

“For us, it is so important that everyone has access,” she said.

However, Rice said the $14.99 rate will not be offered to all customers.

“Subscribers must qualify for these rates,” Grandizio said.

Rice said anyone interested should speak with a sales specialist for specifics.

Still, the goal is to help bridge the “digital divide,” she said.

“Hotwire has been offering this service since April, and many have already subscribed and are enjoying our services,” Grandizio said.

The new storefront — located at 114 S. Main St. — will be equally important in making sure Hotwire can reach those on the fence about subscribing to the local service. By locating the storefront downtown, Rice said the company is aiming to maintain a “sense of localized service” that was there with Fibrant.

In 2018, city voters in a referendum approved turning over management of the municipal-owned Fibrant service to Hotwire.

Hotwire’s downtown location will be a place for customers to try out and learn how to use products.

Customers will be able to sit in a demo area that will offer hands-on experience using the new products such as “voice remotes,” Rice said.

“It is a more face-to-face individualized experience,” she said. “You walk right in.”

“All of this has really come from a lot of feedback that we have gotten,” Rice said.

“One of the greatest things about Fibrant was it was local,” Rice said. A lot of residents felt they might lose that with Hotwire coming in, she said.

Hotwire is here to serve with a sole focus on the Salisbury community, Rice said.

“Downtown is where everything happens,” Rice continued. “Salisbury is such a close community.”

Grandizio agreed that Hotwire’s focus is local.

“Over the last six months or so, I have had the great opportunity to meet with and listen to all results of those conversations and our commitment to our customers and the community in general,” Grandizio said. “The customer support center, education sessions, bundles … are best priced with a face-to-face, personal approach to customer service.”

The downtown location is expected to open within the month, Rice said. A store at 1415 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. will remain open as well.

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Contact reporter Samuel Motley at 704-797-4264. 

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 1:23 p.m. July 1 to state that Hotwire will offer a 50-megabit-per-second speed as part of the new bundle. The article previously used an incorrect unit of measure. We apologize for the error.