RST MIA WTF

Wake Forest residents are sitting and waiting for high-speed internet provider RST Fiber to get the gigabits flying to town so people can get their online holiday shopping completed at the speed of light. But a recent report in the Triangle Business Journal has raised concerns that the network is going to meet deadlines and is in limbo.

According the Triangle Business Journal, RST Fiber was busy running about the state getting fiber laid. The Crenshaw Manor neighborhood in Wake Forest was among the first to get laid in Wake Forest. Homes have been connected to the internet spigot but nothing is coming out of it.

TBJ reports Roe O’Donnell, deputy town manager for Wake Forest, as saying, “communication between the town and RST has stalled over the past few months, even after RST built out miles of fiber between Wake Forest and Raleigh.”

RST Fiber President Dan Limerick is reported to have told TBJ, “The only comment I have on that is RST, being a private company, doesn’t have public funding to work with, so right now, we are working diligently where our funds permit, which is our area, right around where we’re located in the Cleveland area and in the Charlotte area.”

In a move that will certainly exacerbate public emotional inflammation is if another provider arrives in town before RST finishes its work and makes the connections to homes with RST fiber already installed, “Since RST Fiber owns the infrastructure connecting their homes, even if AT&T comes to Wake Forest – even if Google Fiber changes its mind and includes Wake Forest in its potential plans for the Triangle – they are locked in.”

But residents in the Town of Wake Forest don’t need to be alarmed by this because no communications provider holds a franchise with Wake Forest for the installation of fiber optic cable that can block a parallel provider. That might mean the other provider might have to install new fiber but simply having committed to RST does not mean it is not possible to get service from another provider in the future.

I think it is a fair statement that RST Fiber may have bitten off more than they could chew when they made a big splash of making Wake Forest the first high-speed internet community in the state, behind Wilson.

But before we light the torches and run to B&W Hardware to buy pitchforks, it might just be that RST Fiber needs a bit more time to secure additional funding to continue with their work. After all, they’ve spent a lot of money to date drilling all sorts of things around town and laying their money in the ground.

According to RST representatives, Wake Forest might have blown through the promised timelines but remains high on the priority list of tasks to accomplish.

But that’s little comfort for the many who plopped down emotional deposits for service that have not yet arrived, are locked into RST Fiber service, and have no deadline in sight set for the future.

In a way the current situation is like getting to go to prom with the hottest girl in school only to have her not come to the door when you arrive to pick her up. How long do you stand there knocking before you feel like a fool?

RST Fiber does not benefit by publicly not meeting its promises and surely they would rather, than not. If anything, more communication between the Town, residents, and RST Fiber would help to ease worried minds. Otherwise, every future community they touch is going to work if they are going to get the Wake Forest treatment.

3 thoughts on “RST MIA WTF”

  1. We encourage everyone to get involved if you want better internet, or more choices. This kindof service isn't appearing out of the blue because we are Wake Forest, it's appearing because a couple residents stood up and sought better. RST has good intentions, but their budget is constrained. Centurylink is only riding RST's P.R. coat tails at this point, you won't see any real competition there. Time Warner is out to lunch, as usual, but are promising 300mbps speeds next year for the price of their current 50mbps plan.

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