The city of Salisbury, North Carolina is in the process of launching a municipally owned triple play network, much to the chagrin of the incumbent cable provider, Time Warner Cable. The project is called Fibrant, and the Stop the Cap blog alerts us to the fact that Fibrant ‘soft launched’ their service this week.
Fibrant is using a FTTH platform for triple play, utilizing IPTV for video. They initially selected the Ericsson IPTV middleware platform, but for reasons that we’re not privy to, have since switched to Minerva. They are also using Amino set-top-boxes and ETI for billing and OSS.
FIbrant offers a maximum broadband tier of symmetrical 25 Mb/s ($65/month unbundled), as well as a standard tier of symmetrical 15 Mb/s ($45/month unbundled). They offer a wide variety (maybe too wide) of triple play bundles, ranging in price from $97 to $209 per month. Check out the comparison of Fibrant’s broadband to Time Warner Cable in the video below (produced by Walser Technology Group).
Fibrant’s had a colorful short history, primarily due to the controversy surrounding its very existence. Municipal utilities that launch networks to compete with incumbent providers face stiff and coordinated opposition. They have passionate supporters as well as agitated detractors. It makes for some interesting telecompetition theater.