An initiative by Ridgeland-based C Spire proposes to give homes in Mississippi the opportunity to have internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second — about 100 times the average speed, CEO Hu Meena said Tuesday during a press conference at the C Spire headquarters.
The regional telecommunications and technology services company’s ultra high-speed Internet access will be marketed as C Spire Fiber to the Home.
“We know that unlocking the potential of next generation technology for the communities we serve requires taking optical fiber all the way to their door,” said Meena.
“As a brand that’s been pushing the envelope of innovation our entire existence, it’s only natural for us to want to provide the ‘what’s next’ to the customers we serve.”
C Spire hopes to have the first city connected by sometime in 2014, said Jared Baumann, Brand Product Manager at C Spire. Baumann would not speculate on the price for the residential service, saying only that it would be extremely competitive.
“We already have about 4,000 miles of fiber optic cable throughout the state, and we plan to put down about 1,600 more miles,” said Baumann. C Spire is already offering high-speed, high-bandwidth connections to schools and businesses and is now ready to bring it directly to homes.
Other cities already have fiber optic internet, such as Kansas City, Kan., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Lafayette, La. But this venture is targeting the entire state.
That first Mississippi city will be selected through a “Get Fiber First” program, which invites city officials from around the state to tell why their needs, wants and will benefit from the future operations and 1 Gig Fiber.
C Spire said it will be accepting applications from neighborhoods, towns and cities in Mississippi. The communities that want it the most, and move quickest, will get it first, they said. More details on how that city will be selected will be announced at a meeting Monday at 2 p.m. at the C Spire offices in Ridgeland, said Gregg Logan, Vice President for C Spire Wireless. For more information go to cspire.com/fiberhome. The link will provide answers and information on how cities can pursue Fiber to the Home for their community.
According the website, the three most important factors for cities are: 1. A progressive, business-minded leadership that can move quickly to aid us in deployment with fast construction permitting, advantageous access to public rights-of-way, or other incentives. 2) Business terms from local government that reduce the cost of implementation and operation. 3) Sizable local demand showing in a pre-registration process.
According to Baumann, the permitting process has been a roadblock for other cities, and he hopes C Spire can streamline that process.
“While we know some of the tangible benefits that fiber offers to individuals, families, businesses and entire communities, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible with 100-times-faster Internet,” Meena said. “Similar to the transition from dial-up to broadband, no one could fathom that people would one day be able to shop online, download software and watch endless hours of video on YouTube. The undiscovered potential of fiber is what’s most exciting and compelling about our plans.”
C Spire officials said the benefits of 1 Gig Internet will be felt in various ways. In healthcare, patients will have access to professionals and new diagnostic tool. In education, students can access new learning tools in home, and possibilities of real-time teacher-student interactions online are greatly enhanced. The faster speeds might also open opportunities for move civic involvement such as digital town chats. Cities and counties can look for more cost-efficient ways to deliver services and individuals can find ways to create tech start-ups and home-based businesses.
“Technology infrastructure is critical both for families and businesses as we work together to build a better Mississippi,” Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said in a release. “We continue working to increase access to broadband services across Mississippi, and I appreciate C Spire for making this important investment.”
» See the C Spire commercial about the product below …