Knightdale tries for fiber service through RST Fiber after Google’s snub

mhankerson@newsobserver.comApril 15, 2014 

— After a quick rebuff from Google Fiber last month, Knightdale is looking, once again, to be included in preliminary plans to bring fiberoptic Internet to the Triangle area.

RST Fiber, a Shelby, N.C.-based company, recently announced it would be looking at Wake Forest as a place to start offering service and Knightdale Communications Director Brian Bowman said the town will let RST Fiber know Knightdale would also be interested in fiberoptic service.

“We don’t want to put all our eggs into one basket,” he said. “We want to make sure on multiple fronts that fiber companies know Knightdale would be a good business decision.”

Last month, when Google Fiber announced the Raleigh-Durham area – but not Knightdale – was under consideration to receive the service next, Knightdale contacted Google to see if it was too late to be included.

Bowman said the town has sent RST Fiber emails to let them know they are interested and try to court the company to consider the town as a worthy business venture.

“We really believe with Knightdale’s demographic, we make good business sense,” he said. “They see Wake Forest as an extension of Raleigh and we believe we could be seen in the same light.”

Knightdale’s median age sits at about 30 years old, the youngest in the county, according to recent branding research and according to the U.S. Census, about 40 percent of the town’s residents hold Bachelor’s degrees compared to the statewide percentage of 26 percent.

Bowman said things like that could make Knightdale a promising project for RST. He said the fiberoptic service would benefit residents and businesses.

“Broadband speed is very important,” he said. “We know it’s something people want.”

And RST Fiber seems like a more promising venture for Knightdale, with company officials saying they are ready and willing to go wherever they are wanted.

RST Fiber CEO Dan Limerick said the company is open to working with any localities who want the service, but he said the focus right now is on the pending deal with Wake Forest.

Limerick said the Wake Forest service should, barring any major complications, be completed by midsummer.

After that, he said the company will be in a better place to begin looking at other service areas, although he did not say the company was eyeing any particular locality.

Hankerson: 919-829-4826; Twitter: @easternwakenews

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