C Spire to Launch 1 Gbps Internet Access for Businesses

  • C Spire
TUPELO, MS — Tupelo may soon become the epicenter of the next phase of C Spire's Tech Movement initiative designed to make affordable, ultra-fast broadband Internet access widely available to consumers and businesses across Mississippi.

Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton and C Spire executives have invited 1,300 local business owners to a pair of meetings on Monday, Nov. 6 at the BancorpSouth Arena and Conference Center to learn more about the opportunity to get gigabit speed internet access for their enterprises for as low as $200 a month, the lowest price available in the nation.

A lunch session is scheduled at 11:30 a.m. and an after work social is set for 5:30 p.m. at the facility, 375 East Main Street, in downtown Tupelo. Registration closes on Friday, Nov. 3. To secure a seat at one of the meetings, business owners need to register at http://events.cspire.com/fiberfasttupelo.

Gigabit Speeds for Businesses and Residents
"I've had a vision for some time now to see our city become the first in Mississippi to make gigabit speed internet access available to all our 4,400-plus businesses and nearly 39,000 residents," said Shelton, noting that the high-tech infrastructure will pave the way for economic growth, new jobs and improved quality of life for residents and businesses.

Tupelo is one of at least two dozen cities chosen by C Spire to begin the first U.S. effort aimed at making gigabit internet widely available to businesses ranging from coffee houses and restaurants to law offices, accounting and tax services. The company aims to make ultra-fast service available to one out of every five of the state's 250,000 businesses.

Second Phase Private Sector Technology Deployment

Gigabit access for businesses is the second phase of a major private sector technology deployment by C Spire this fall that features a massive expansion of ultra-fast broadband internet and wireless fiber-based fixed internet to more than 250,000 consumers and small businesses in cities and towns across the state.

The broadband expansion is a key part of the C Spire Tech Movement, an outgrowth of the company's 2013 groundbreaking fiber-to-the-home program, one of the first of its type in the U.S. and the fastest to connect thousands of Mississippi consumers in nine communities across the state to gigabit internet, digital television and home phone services.

"We're excited about partnering with the city of Tupelo to make the benefits of ultra-fast, fiber-based internet available to their local businesses," said Allen McIntosh, vice president and general manager for C Spire Business Solutions, noting that businesses who received an invitation to the meetings have been pre-qualified for the gigabit service.

Six Business Fiberhoods
McIntosh said the city has been divided into six business fiberhoods — designated areas that are within several hundred feet of the company's extensive infrastructure of buried fiber optic cable. Even the 3,300 businesses that are outside of the primary sphere of influence can receive the service if there is enough interest, he added.

"With this model, we can make these cutting-edge 21st century services available anywhere as long as there is enough interest to justify our capital investment," McIntosh added, noting that C Spire has installed over 8,000 route miles of fiber optics and owns and has deployed more wireless spectrum in Mississippi than any other communications carrier.

McIntosh said the goal of the meetings is to gauge interest among businesses and discuss next steps for the project. Similar meetings are planned later in the month, including one in Laurel on Nov. 9. "Our goal is to meet with local leaders and develop a plan that will make these services available to as many businesses as quickly as possible," he said.

A Mississippi Broadband Mission
The high-tech firm has been on a mission to expand broadband availability and boost average mobile and fixed broadband speeds in Mississippi. Overall, C Spire plans to deliver broadband internet to over 250,000 residents and businesses with speeds ranging from 25 Mbps in underserved areas, 100 Mbps in other communities to 1 Gbps for businesses using the latest fiber optic and fixed wireless technologies, which enable faster and more widespread availability of critical services. The company also is continuing its FTTH gigabit deployment in several communities across the state.

The broadband expansion plan is part of a broader C Spire Tech Movement initiative designed to leverage the company's technology leadership and investments to help transform its service areas. Other elements of the program include leading the development of a tech workforce in Mississippi through education initiatives, expanding tech innovation and development of a state-of-the-art digital customer care platform for customers and team members.

In recent years, C Spire's continuing technology investment has played a central role in recent state gains for average mobile and fixed broadband speeds in Mississippi. The company became the state's fastest internet service provider in 2014 and more than quadrupled speeds in the state following its successful FTTH initiative.

C Spire plans to share more details as it rolls out each phase of the Tech Movement, including specific markets, pricing and speeds in the programs. In the meantime, consumers and businesses can go to cspire.com/internetlaunch for more details, updates and frequently asked questions.


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