STARKVILLE — Homeowner pre-registration exceeded the required threshold in a fourth area of the city of Starkville this week, helping it qualify for C Spire’s 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) fiber to the home Internet service and related digital HD TV and home phone services.
Starkville’s Hiwassee fiberhood, which extends from the city center to the northern edge, reached its 45 percent pre-registration target and now joins the South Montgomery, Timbercove and Cotton District fiberhoods, which qualified earlier this year for the next-generation suite of services.
The four areas in Starkville, along with five areas in the cities of Horn Lake, Ridgeland and the entire town of Quitman, will be the first in Mississippi with Internet access up to 100 times faster than national average broadband speeds, according to Ridgeland-based C Spire.
Construction started in June in the South Montgomery and Timbercove areas of Starkville and is scheduled to begin soon in the other two areas of the city that have qualified for the service. C Spire Fiber crews began laying fiber optic cable for last mile connections in three areas of Ridgeland in May and in Quitman in June.
Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman, who traveled around the country studying how a handful of other U.S. cities managed to gain similar technology in his efforts to get the infrastructure in his town, said the latest area to qualify helps the city’s continuing push to gain momentum and get the technology in all 10 of its fiberhoods.
“We’re really starting to see widespread progress in our efforts to become a Gigabit city,” Wiseman said, noting the addition of the Hiwassee-Reed Road-Hospital fiberhood now means approximately 40 percent of the city has qualified for the infrastructure. “We’ve still got work to do and we’re definitely not finished, but I’m excited that we have the opportunity to bring this advanced technology to more people in our community.”
Wiseman said the success of Mississippi State University’s football program has helped focus attention on Starkville and the city’s efforts to become a Gigabit city. “We’re starting to believe that anything is possible and we can realize those big dreams for our community.”
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 what the company claims is the nation’s first and only statewide roll out of next-generation Internet access, premium HD digital television and home phone services. Jackson, the state’s largest city and its capital, was added in September.
Local government, community and business leaders in the 10 Mississippi cities have rallied residents to pre-register at percentage levels to help qualify their areas to be among the first for C Spire’s build out of the service.
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