by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
Back in 2009, when researchers Michael Sanera and Katie Bethune at the John Locke Foundation warned Salisbury leaders about other cities’ experience with getting into the broadband business, they concluded by saying:
All of them had problems using subscriber revenue to pay for their systems. To pay the ever-mounting deficits, they either raised property taxes or increased utility rates, or in some cases both. Unable to stem the deficits, these cities eventually sold their systems to the private sector.
Yesterday, Salisbury voters overwhelmingly agreed on the resolution to lease the city’s Fibrant broadband system to Hotwire Communications. It was approved by 81.5 percent of the voters, in the hopes of bringing a close to that particular municipal money sink.