Construction has started in Starkville on an ultra-high speed 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) Fiber to the Home initiative, part of C Spire’s quest to offer 100 times faster consumer broadband Internet service and related digital TV and home phone services.
C Spire crews began installing fiber optic cable in Starkville 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.
Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman and a host of other government, business and community leaders and dignitaries joined C Spire executives at a news conference Tuesday to celebrate the historic development.
Suzy Hays, senior vice president of Consumer Markets for C Spire, noted that the company is building the first statewide 1 Gbps fiber to the home 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,” Hays said. “We’re going to show the world that Starkville and other C Spire Fiber cities in Mississippi are ready to become hubs 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 thousands of miles of fiber optic infrastructure and spend millions of dollars to connect cities in the first phase.
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 two in Starkville, for the service. Hays said interest is high in the next-generation service with thousands of homeowners in 80 of the 81 specially-designed fiber hoods paying a $10 fee and pre-registering for the service. The company expects more areas in additional cities to qualify soon.
Starkville was the first city to qualify multiple areas of its town for the game-changing infrastructure. Earlier this year, two areas in the city – South Montgomery and Timbercove – exceeded the required levels of homeowner pre-registration for the service. A third area in the city, the Cotton District, is expected to reach its pre-registration target soon.
While construction is starting in Starkville, Hays said work is also underway in other C Spire Fiber cities. C Spire crews began laying fiber optic cable for last mile connections in Ridgeland neighborhoods last month and construction began in Quitman earlier this month.