C Spire today said it plans to deploy gigabit fiber-to-the-home within its existing service territory. The company did not provide specifics about how many homes it would reach, however, and has not yet decided where to build.
“This announcement is not just about C Spire,” said C Spire President and CEO Hu Meena at today’s launch event, which was held at C Spire headquarters in Ridgeland, Miss. “It’s about our region. It can transform our region into a powerful magnet” for technology and economic development, he said.
C Spire offers wireless and business wireline services in several southern states. But initially, at least, the company is targeting its home state of Mississippi for the gigabit service. The company is inviting neighborhoods, towns and cities in Mississippi to complete applications explaining why they should get gigabit service.
C Spire will deploy gigabit FTTH initially in “communities that want it the most,” said Meena. He encouraged residents and community leaders to contact C Spire to explain “why the community wants and will benefit from” the deployment.
C Spire Wireless already has invested in fiber to support its wireline sister company C Spire Business Solutions. At today’s event, C Spire Brand Product Manager Jared Baumann said the company would invest another $100 million in the next two years, some of which would go toward gigabit FTTH. C Spire will use the gigabit network to support bundled offerings that also include wireless, video and home phone, said Baumann.
Also on hand for today’s announcement was Joe Reardon, mayor of Kansas City, Kan., which was able to persuade Google to build a gigabit network in that community by offering a range of incentives such as simplified permitting. Reardon’s presence suggested C Spire also may be looking for similar incentives in making its decision where to build.
C Spire joins a growing number of service providers that have begun to offer gigabit services. Just this morning AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson confirmed that company will build a gigabit network in Austin, Tex., noting that AT&T, too, was lured by incentives offered by the city, where Google Fiber also is building a gigabit network. Stephenson’s remarks were made at a financial conference focused on the telecom industry.