Ridgeland becomes first city to qualify three areas for C Spire service

June 24, 2014

Business, Technology

c_spire_cmyk-The city of Ridgeland’s homeowner pre-registration exceeded the required threshold in a third area of the city and has qualified for C Spire’s 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) fiber to the home Internet service and related digital TV and home phone services.

Ridgeland’s Highland Colony North fiberhood, which includes The Township, Canterberry, Winrush, Carlton Park, Old Agency Village, Rolling Meadows, Hillview and Stillwood neighborhoods, has reached its 45 percent pre-registration target and now joins the Bridgewater and Old Agency East fiberhoods, which qualified earlier this year for the service.

The three areas in Ridgeland, along with three areas in the cities of Horn Lake, Starkville and the entire town of Quitman, will be the first cities in Mississippi with Internet access up to 100 times faster than national average broadband speeds.

Construction started last month in the Bridgewater neighborhood of Ridgeland 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 Quitman and Starkville earlier this month.

Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee said several other parts of the city are continuing to make progress and are expected to qualify for the next-generation technology in the near future, including the Ann Smith and Montrachet, Muirwood and Camden Park fiberhoods. “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,” he added.

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.

Ridgeland’s latest success follows a decision by C Spire late last month to issue new “fiberhood” maps for the city, reducing the size of several of the city’s 11 fiberhoods and the corresponding number of households needed to pre-register for the high-speed Internet and related digital TV and home phone services. The changes were made primarily to remove large apartment complexes and related buildings that were already under long-term or exclusive agreements with other broadband providers.

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.

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