Salisbury is hearing the voice of experience at its retreat. Lafayette just launched the nation's largest fiber project. Atlantic Engineering did the engineering work for LUS (as well as many other municipal projects—especially those in the South). Dalton is one of the oldest (and most successful) municipal FTTH projects.
Part of Salisbury City Council's annual retreat Thursday and Friday will concentrate on what the future might hold in the fiber-optic cable business.
As part of its schedule Friday, council will have a panel discussion from 9:45 to 11 a.m. on "Inventing a Brighter Future with Fiber."
Guest panelists will be Terry Huval, director of utilities for Lafayette, La.; James Salter, chief strategy officer with Atlantic Engineering Group; and Don Cope, president and chief executive officer of Dalton (Ga.) Utilities.
Huval later will be guest speaker at Friday's luncheon at City Hall. His topic will be "Rolling Out Fiber to the Home; Adopting a Winning Strategy for Your Community."
Salisbury is well down the road toward initiating its own FTTH project and will be blazing a path of its own: Salisbury does not have a municipal power utility, an advantage that other cities engaged in such projects have had. It has had to negotiate a pole attachment agreement with the local power company and will have to build up an entirely new utility. The challenges don't end there: it is also setting up to pursue a public bond offering in these difficult times. They sound determined in North Carolina.