Michael Baylor (WRAL Digital Solutions) headed down to Wilson, NC to talk to Greenlight Community Broadband and other community members about the innovation in Eastern North Carolina, during its annual Whirligig Festival. Since the time of tobacco trading, Eastern North Carolina has been a leader in agriculture and business, and Wilson has taken that storied history into the future with its emphasis on creating a place that modern day businesses and startups can thrive.


The pride and joy of Wilson, NC is the Whirligig Park featuring many of the mainstays built by artist and engineer, Vollis Simpson. Whirligigs give way to Wilson, NC being at the intersection of arts and innovation, as the city uses the art pieces to teach local students and visitors about gears, machinery, and weather. That history of innovation leads this city, in small-town America, into the present day as it develops its smart city capabilities and its community broadband offerings.


Tech on Tap got the opportunity to talk with the General Manager of Greenlight (Will Aycock) the communications and marketing director of The City of Wilson (Rebecca Agner), and the key accounts manager for Wilson Energy (Grant Roberson). Wilson, NC is a leader in providing utilities through the local government. We talked about their collaborative efforts in building a smart city, an innovation hub for startups and businesses, and the benefits of having the town on a “smart grid.”