March 31, 2014 — RIDGELAND, Miss.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–C Spire announced today that homeowner pre-registration exceeded the required threshold in a second area of the city of Ridgeland over the weekend – helping it qualify for the company’s ultra-fast 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) fiber to the home Internet service and related digital TV and home phone services.
Ridgeland’s Old Agency East fiberhood, which includes the Dinsmor and Greenwood Plantation neighborhoods, reached its 45 pre-registration target on Saturday and now joins the Bridgewater fiberhood, which qualified late last month along with areas in the cities of Horn Lake, Starkville and the entire town of Quitman for service that promises Internet access up to 100 times faster than national average broadband speeds.
The six areas in the four cities now move into the next phase of the historic initiative where C Spire puts the finishing touches on engineering plans, meets with city officials and residents and starts construction of the fiber infrastructure that will serve as the platform for the next-generation services.
“We’re pleased that the city of Ridgeland is continuing to show momentum and that the excitement and anticipation of Internet at the speed of light is growing there and in other Mississippi cities,” said Hu Meena, president and CEO of C Spire. “Fiber to the home is a next-generation technology that will help Ridgeland and other Mississippi cities become hubs for future investment and growth.”
Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee, whose city already has a reputation as Mississippi’s most tech-friendly community, said the latest progress shows that momentum is continuing to build as more residents learn about the opportunity to invest in their neighborhood’s future.
“It’s exciting to know that we have qualified another area of the city for this ground-breaking service,” McGee said. “I really believe we’ve hit a critical mass in Ridgeland and now we’re going to start seeing more areas qualify more quickly over the next several weeks. That’s a good thing because we want to ensure that this service is available in every area of our city where residents want it.”
Nine Mississippi Cities Part of Initial Phase of C Spire’s Ultra-Fast Fiber to the Home Initiative
Homeowner pre-registration began last December in Batesville, Clinton, Corinth, Hattiesburg, Horn Lake, McComb, Quitman, Ridgeland and Starkville. The nine cities were selected by C Spire as finalists for the nation’s first and only statewide roll out of next-generation Internet access, premium HD digital television and home phone services.
Since that time, local government, community and business leaders in the nine Mississippi cities have rallied residents to pre-register at percentage levels that will qualify their areas to be among the first for C Spire’s build out of the service. All of the cities have campaigns underway and many are making good progress, but McGee said efforts in Ridgeland are really starting to reap big dividends.
The Old Agency East fiberhood and other areas in the city of Ridgeland, including Highland Colony North and Ann Smith, have made significant progress in recent days. With volunteers canvassing the fiberhood last week and over the weekend, the city was able to qualify its second fiberhood, according to Jared Baumann, brand product manager for C Spire’s consumer fiber services. More fiberhoods are expected to turn “green” in the coming weeks as efforts intensify in Ridgeland and the other C Spire Fiber cities.
McGee said interest is only going to grow as the city moves into the next phases of construction and actual delivery of the next-generation services. “People here are beginning to understand that this is going to be a new reality for our city and they want to be a part of that experience. Our residents may have started a little slower, but as we’ve deepened their understanding of how this infrastructure will improve their quality of life and help shape the city’s future for years to come, they’ve wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity.”
Ridgeland mayor vows to continue community pre-registration efforts for 1 Gig service
“Our goal is to qualify residents in all 10 of our fiberhoods for this game-changing service and we won’t slow down until that is a reality,” McGee said. “I’m really encouraged by how more and more of our citizens are realizing that they need to sign up for this service and then tell their neighbors about it so that we can make sure it’s an opportunity that’s extended to everyone.”
McGee said a key factor in the city’s success thus far has been city staff, neighborhood groups and homeowner associations who have held meetings, distributed materials, contacted friends and used community volunteers to go door to door in Ridgeland neighborhoods educating residents on the benefits and value of ultra-high speed Internet access. “We’ve used a lot of different tactics and methods to help inform residents about this opportunity and most of them have been effective. We’re at a point now where we believe word of mouth and the viral buzz from our earlier success will help propel and sustain momentum as we work on the eight remaining areas of the city that need to qualify for the service.”
Pre-registration remains open in all nine C Spire fiber cities. Residents are required to make a $10 refundable deposit and indicate their interest for specific services.
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 a month for Internet and 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.
“Mayor McGee and other city leaders understand the public policy benefits of 1 Gigabit infrastructure and Ridgeland residents are responding enthusiastically to this historic opportunity,” Meena said. “We’re looking forward to bringing tomorrow’s technology to Ridgeland and these other Mississippi communities today because we know that this service has the power to transform communities and improve the quality of life for everyone.”
Baumann said C Spire plans to start turning up 1 Gig service in the first C Spire Fiber neighborhoods by this summer. The service is expected to pave the way for improvements in the areas of healthcare, education, civic life, municipal services and economic growth.
To learn more about C Spire’s Fiber to the Home initiative, visit www.cspire.com/fiberhome.