Construction Begins for C Spire's Mississippi FTTH Network

  • C Spire
RIDGELAND, MS - C Spire started construction on its ultra-high speed Gbps fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) consumer broadband network. C Spire crews began installing fiber optic cable in Ridgeland’s Bridgewater neighborhood this week – marking another milestone in the Mississippi company’s mission to move the Magnolia state from worst to first in national rankings for average Internet speeds and consumer access to super-fast broadband services.

C Spire CEO Hu Meena noted that C Spire is building the first statewide 1 Gbps FTTH network in the U.S. The initiative already represents the largest single deployment of this infrastructure – in terms of total cities at one time – in North America.

“Fiber to the Home is a transformative technology for communities, serving as a platform for innovation and new Internet experiences yet to be imagined,” Meena said. “We’re going to show the world that Mississippi is ready to become a hub for technology investment, economic growth and job creation.”

Nine Mississippi cities, including Batesville, Clinton, Corinth, Hattiesburg, Horn Lake, McComb, Quitman, Ridgeland and Starkville, were selected by C Spire last November for the game-changing technology after the company said it would use its 4,600 miles of fiber optic infrastructure and spend millions of dollars to connect cities in the first phase.

Six Communities Already Qualified for Service
Homeowner pre-registration began last December. Since that time, local government, community and business leaders have rallied residents in four of the cities to pre-register at levels that qualify six areas, including the entire town of Quitman, for the service. Meena said interest is high in the next-generation service with thousands of homeowners in 80 of the 81 specially-designed fiberhoods paying a $10 fee and pre-registering for the service. The company expects more areas in additional cities to qualify soon.

While construction has started in Ridgeland, Meena said work is also underway in other C Spire Fiber cities. C Spire crews are laying backbone fiber optic cable for last mile connections in Quitman and are ready to start work in Horn Lake as soon as the city finishes a massive water and sewer project. Construction in Starkville should begin next month.

Vision to Reality in Under 12 Months
Meena said the strong support and engagement from cities is the primary reason for the fast-moving initiative’s success thus far. When it launches service in the first C Spire fiber cities later this summer, the company will have moved from vision to reality in less than 12 months. In comparison, Google took nearly three years before it selected and began offering Gigabit fiber service in Kansas City, Kansas. “Our initiative is a great example of what can be accomplished when cities, communities and business leaders work together to move Mississippi forward,” he said.

C Spire is a perfect example of the technology and innovation in Mississippi, according to Bryant. “C Spire’s commitment to bring fiber optic technology to communities across the state will help us compete in a global economy.”

Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee, whose city already has a reputation as one of the nation’s most family and business friendly communities, said municipal leaders have been focused on educating and informing residents about the benefits associated with fiber to the home since first learning about the initiative last year. McGee has gone door to door canvassing residents, sent pre-recorded telephone messages to homeowners and led a 27-mile bike ride through 12 of the city’s neighborhoods to raise awareness about the need to pre-register for C Spire’s Fiber to the Home service.

“It’s exciting to make this opportunity available to our residents,” McGee said. “This is technology infrastructure that will enhance education and small business creation, attract high-tech business investment, jobs and new families while boosting home values and improving the quality of life in our city.”

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