September 02, 2014 — JACKSON, Miss.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mississippi’s largest city and its state capital may soon be known for more than being one of the friendliest communities in the U.S.
Municipal leaders and C Spire executives announced an agreement today that promises to help Jackson become one of nation’s most technologically advanced cities by offering residents ultra-high speed 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) Fiber to the Home broadband Internet access.
The Ridgeland-based telecommunications and technology services firm forged relationships with nine other Mississippi cities last November to provide 100 times faster, next-generation Internet access and related digital HD TV, phone and home automation services. Jackson becomes the 10th and largest city to join the initiative.
Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber said the agreement represents a historic opportunity for the city to become a hub for technology investment, generate new, high-paying jobs and provide a better quality of life for its 172,638 residents.
“It’s a new day in Jackson and we’re excited about partnering with C Spire to create a bright future for the people in this city,” Yarber said. “Gigabit infrastructure will address so many needs in our city from education and health care to business expansion while improving home values.”
Hu Meena, president and CEO of C Spire and a Jackson resident, said his company is on a mission to move Jackson and the Magnolia state from worst to first in national rankings for average Internet speeds and consumer access to super-fast broadband services. “A primary goal is to ensure Mississippi has easy access to fiber technology just as we are delivering on our goal of ensuring consumers and businesses in our state have access to the latest wireless technologies,” he said.
“Fiber to the Home can be a transformative technology for communities, serving as a platform for innovation and a host of new Internet applications and experiences yet to be imagined,” Meena added. “We’re determined to show the world that Jackson and the state of Mississippi are ready to be a catalyst for technology investment, economic growth and job creation.”
With Jackson’s recent approval of a franchise agreement with C Spire, online pre-registration will begin today at www.cspire.com/fiberhome. Individuals will need to make a $10 refundable deposit and provide credit card information when they visit the website.
Initially, the website will feature a single large map showing Jackson city boundaries. Later this month, the web page will be updated and show detailed, interactive maps of the city divided into fiberhoods showing what percentage of residents needed to pre-register to turn an area “green” and qualify for build out of the service. All residents who pre-register now will be placed in their specific fiberhood at that time.
When it is updated, the Jackson site also will include progress bars for each fiberhood to help residents get a “real time” snapshot of their success in getting neighbors, friends and others who live nearby to pre-register for the service. Registration percentage goals for the city of Jackson vary between 35 and 45 percent.
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 extensive fiber optic infrastructure and spend millions of dollars to connect cities in the first phase.
Homeowner pre-registration began in those cities last December. Since that time, local government, community and business leaders have rallied residents in four of the cities (Ridgeland, Starkville, Quitman and Horn Lake) to pre-register at levels that qualified eight areas for the service. The company expects more areas in additional cities to qualify soon.
Construction started in Ridgeland in May and has also been underway in areas of several other cities that have qualified for the service, including the entire town of Quitman.
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 month, the company will have moved from vision to reality in 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.
For C Spire customers, the 1 Gbps Internet access will be available for $70 a month, $90 a month for combined Internet and home phone, $130 for Internet and HD digital TV and $150 a month for the entire package of all three services. Non customers will be required to pay an additional $10 a month on all packages. Pricing for home automation services will be announced soon.
To pre-register for service in Jackson or to learn more about C Spire Fiber to the Home, visit www.cspire.com/fiberhome.