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C Spire expanding high-speed Internet to over 250,000 consumers, businesses

C SpireRidgeland, Miss., (Sept. 25, 2017) – C Spire is launching a major private sector technology deployment this fall that promises 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 initiative 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 around the state to ultra-fast Gigabit speed Internet access, digital television and home phone services.

“As the state’s leading technology company and one that gets its inspiration from our loyal customers, we have a responsibility to marshal our resources and expertise to equip our communities to effectively compete in the technology revolution and help close the gap on the digital divide,” said C Spire CEO Hu Meena.

Meena said C Spire is uniquely positioned to bring consumers and businesses the benefits of the technology revolution. The company has installed over 8,000 route miles of fiber optic infrastructure and owns and has deployed more wireless spectrum in Mississippi that any other mobile communications carrier. The firm also was the first in the state to conduct several successful pre-5G tests during the last 18 months with technology partners where it achieved Gigabit speeds in transmitting data over wireless connections.

“Technology is no longer just an industry sector, it is at the epicenter of a revolution that is transforming how we as a society live, work and play,” Meena added. “From robotics and artificial intelligence to virtual reality and the Internet of Things, a key building block for a solid technology foundation is widespread availability and access to broadband Internet. Today’s announcement is our promise to make this infrastructure a reality as we deploy the latest technologies to reach consumers and businesses with the faster, high quality Internet connections they’ve come to expect from C Spire.”

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 small 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.

Elements of the plan, which are being rolled out in phases starting today, include:

  • Underserved Areas: the initial phase, launching today, includes Internet access speeds of up to 25 Mbps in 8 markets, primarily in the Mississippi Delta and Northeast Mississippi. More markets will be added between now and the end of the year in areas where choices are limited or service from existing providers is slow or inadequate.
  • Small Business: the first U.S. effort aimed at boosting small business access to Gigabit Internet speeds will expand the company’s business Internet services to a wide range of sole proprietors ranging from coffee houses and restaurants to law offices, accounting and tax services. C Spire aims to make the ultra-fast service available to one out of every five of the state’s 252,000 small businesses.
  • Wireless Fiber: C Spire will launch its Wireless Fiber technology to initially reach 70,000 consumers and businesses with up to 100 Mbps along with plans to expand to another 130,000 nearby consumers and businesses. Wireless Fiber avoids last-mile fiber construction, which can be slow and expensive, while accelerating Internet access availability in more places. The technology also leverages the company’s existing 8,000 route miles of fiber-optics, mobile broadband infrastructure, cell sites and spectrum to speed delivery of services to more consumers and businesses.

“As a Mississippi-based technology company, we are uniquely positioned to ensure that our state is not left behind in the technology revolution,” said C Spire President Stephen Bye. “The mass expansion of broadband Internet is a key part of the C Spire Tech Movement.” The initiative also includes programs to prepare and equip consumers and businesses to be successful in the new technology economy through education and workforce training, fellowship programs and showcasing the latest advancements and innovations in robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the Internet of Things.

In recent years, C Spire’s continuing technology investment has played a central role in recent state gains in boosting average mobile and fixed broadband speeds in Mississippi. The company became the fastest Internet service provider and more than quadrupled speeds in the state following its 2013 Fiber-to-the-Home Gigabit broadband initiative.

“The availability of high-speed Internet is directly linked to Mississippi’s future economic success,” said U.S. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi. “C Spire is deploying more of this important technology so that our residents and businesses can compete, grow, and prosper.”

C Spire plans to share more details soon 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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