• 70°

Hotwire consistently late on rent payments for city’s fiber-optic network

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — Hotwire Communications, which runs the city’s fiber-optic network, has not made its quarterly payments on time to the city of Salisbury since the contract began in April 2018.

The contract states, “Hotwire will pay rent … in consecutive quarterly installments on the 15th day after the end of each calendar quarter with respect to the preceding calendar quarter.” But the city has yet to receive anything for fiscal year 2019-20, despite the first quarter ending Sept. 30.

City Manager Lane Bailey said the city is working with Michael Grandizio, the general manager of Salisbury’s Hotwire, to streamline the process and extend deadline for the rent payment. Bailey said the 15-day time period for payment is unreasonable and that 45 days is more reasonable.

Hotwire’s rent payment is a percentage of its revenue generated on the city’s network. The city receives 30% of internet services revenues, 10% of video service revenue and 10% of voice services revenue. 

City Finance Director Wade Furches said this week that Hotwire has “to get their numbers true before they send some information or some money.”

He added Hotwire has paid everything they have owed for rent except for this quarter. Those payments just have not come on time.

Both Jonathan Bullock, the vice president of corporate development and government for Hotwire, and Bailey said they are still sorting out some of the transition woes.

Bullock said there were issues with both residential and commercial billing that were transferred to Hotwire.

“Hotwire has been working diligently, in conjunction with the city, to identify these inherited issues and correct them,” Bullock said in an email. “As the revenue share is fundamentally tied to billing, the cleanup has caused delays in the time frame Hotwire has been able to certify revenue.” 

Since the Hotwire lease went into affect July 1, 2018, the city has received $446,253.73 in revenue. That includes a trend of an increase in installations, which reduces the total amount Hotwire pays in rent. 

Bailey said the contract with Hotwire is a still a positive thing for the city. And Bullock agreed.

“We consider the partnership with the city an enormous success,” Bullock said. “The financial return to the city is greater than anticipated and Hotwire truly values being a part of the Salisbury community.”

The partnership between Hotwire and the city is different than what fiber optic companies’ operations are in other communities, Bailey said. Hotwire is leasing the city’s full Fibrant system. The city still owns the utility. Other Hotwire operations in different cities don’t have a lease agreement with the local government.

“This is a unique relationship compared to all their other customers,” Bailey said last week. “It’s the only one where they are running the system for someone else. It’s still our system.”

Bullock said Hotwire is confident they will resolve the issues and continue on a “normal path.” Bailey said they are working on a solution and a way to speed up the payments.



People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%


Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots


Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending


Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City


Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow


Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh


California population declines for first time


GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending


Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem


Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes


Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title


Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game


County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money


Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury


At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’


COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary


More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot


City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year


Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots


Quotes of the week


Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days


Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site


City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide