STARKVILLE, Miss., March 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Starkville, one of the first Mississippi cities to offer consumers Gigabit speed home internet access four years ago, is gearing up to participate in the next phase of C Spire's Tech Movement designed to transform the Magnolia state by making affordable, fiber-based broadband internet access widely available to businesses.
Local economic developers and C Spire executives have invited over 1,000 local business owners to a meeting on Friday, April 6 at The Mill Conference Center to learn more about the opportunity to get fiber-fast internet access for their enterprises for as low as $200 a month.
The luncheon meeting is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. at The Mill Conference Center, 600 Russell Street, in downtown Starkville. Registration closes on Tuesday, April 3. To secure a seat at the meeting, business owners need to register online at http://events.cspire.com/fiberfaststarkville.
"Fiber-based broadband infrastructure is the electricity of the 21st century," said Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill. "We're excited to continue our partnership with C Spire to help the local business sector grow, prosper and flourish as this infrastructure will create new expansion opportunities and improve the quality of life for everyone."
Local business leaders echoed Spruill's emphasis on the importance of broadband infrastructure for business growth and expansion. "We live, work and play in a digital world that relies on fast connections to power purchasing, commerce and our local economy," said Scott Maynard, president and CEO of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership.
"Broadband internet infrastructure is as important as roads, highways, bridges, railroads and ports," said Joe Max Higgins Jr., CEO of Golden Triangle Development LINK, a regional economic development organization. "Developments like this help position the Golden Triangle region for continued success."
Starkville is one of at least two dozen cities chosen by C Spire to begin the first U.S. effort aimed at making up to 1 Gbps internet widely available to businesses ranging from coffee houses and restaurants to law offices, accounting and tax services. The company aims to make fiber-based service available at a range of speeds to one out of every five of the state's 250,000 businesses.
Fiber fast access for businesses is the second phase of a major private sector technology deployment by C Spire that features a massive expansion of ultra-fast broadband internet and wireless fiber-based fixed internet to more than 250,000 consumers and small businesses in cities and towns across the state.
The broadband expansion is an outgrowth of the company's 2013 groundbreaking Fiber-to-the-Home program, one of the first of its type in the U.S. and the fastest to connect thousands of Mississippi consumers in nine communities across the state, including Starkville, to Gigabit internet, digital television and home phone services.
"We're excited about partnering with the city of Starkville to make the benefits of fiber-based Internet access available to local businesses," said Allen McIntosh, vice president and general manager for C Spire Business Solutions, noting that businesses who received an invitation to the meeting have been pre-qualified for the Gigabit service.
C Spire has installed over 8,000 route miles of fiber optics across the state and owns and has deployed more wireless spectrum in Mississippi than any other communications carrier. "With this model, we can make these cutting-edge 21st century services available anywhere as long as there is enough interest to justify our capital investment," McIntosh added.
McIntosh said the goal of the meeting is to gauge interest among businesses and discuss next steps for the project. Similar meetings are planned in other cities throughout the year. "Our goal is to meet with local leaders and develop a plan that will make these services available to as many businesses as quickly as possible," he said.
The high-tech firm has been on a mission to expand broadband availability and boost average mobile and fixed broadband speeds in Mississippi. Overall, C Spire plans to deliver broadband Internet to over 250,000 residents and businesses with speeds ranging from 25 Mbps in underserved areas, 100 Mbps in other communities to 1 Gbps for businesses using the latest fiber optic and fixed wireless technologies, which enable faster and more widespread availability of critical services. The company also is continuing its FTTH Gigabit deployment in several communities across the state.
The broadband expansion plan is part of a broader C Spire Tech Movement initiative designed to leverage the company's technology leadership and investments to help transform its service areas. Other elements of the program include leading the development of a tech workforce in Mississippi through education initiatives, expanding tech innovation and development of a state-of-the-art digital customer care platform for customers and team members.
In recent years, C Spire's continuing technology investment has played a central role in recent state gains for average mobile and fixed broadband speeds in Mississippi. The company became the state's fastest Internet service provider in 2014 and more than quadrupled speeds in the state following its successful FTTH initiative.
About C Spire C Spire is a leading technology company committed to transforming Mississippi through the C Spire Tech Movement, which includes the massive deployment of broadband internet to homes and small businesses, a state-of-the-art digital experience for its customers and team members, technology innovation leadership and the creation and retention of a 21st century technology workforce in its region. The company provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full suite of dedicated Internet, wireless, IP Voice, data and cloud services for businesses. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.