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C Spire Business Solutions Debuts its New Advantage Fiber Program to Help Boost Regional Economic Development and Growth Efforts

Firm announces initiative to help attract new business, drive investment and expansion; DeSoto County, one of state’s fastest growing, is first to receive designation as fiber-ready

Southaven, Mississippi (December 9, 2016) – C Spire Business Solutions is ready to move DeSoto County into the technology fast lane with strategically positioned fiber optic infrastructure near 18 key business developments and industrial sites that is expected to help dramatically boost the county’s economic development efforts.

CSBS, the business services unit for C Spire, a Mississippi-based diversified telecommunications and technology services company, rolled out its new Advantage Fiber program today for the county and other parts of the state at the annual meeting of the DeSoto County Economic Development Council (EDC).

Under the program, CSBS has developed a regional database that matches its extensive 7,000 route miles of fiber optic infrastructure with close proximity to business and office parks, industrial sites and other locations that are prime candidates for expansion or relocation by companies.

In DeSoto County, C Spire has ultra high speed fiber-based infrastructure near existing buildings totaling over 303,000 square feet and industrial and other development sites covering 2,230 acres in the cities of Hernando, Horn Lake, Olive Branch, Southaven and Walls. The company also has similar infrastructure near dozens of buildings and sites in nine other counties.

CSBS already offers small businesses a fiber-based high-speed 100 megabit per second (Mbps) Internet access service for downloads and uploads in 40 markets. With the Advantage Fiber program, businesses get dedicated, high speed connections up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps), which paves the way for cloud applications, data analytics, streaming video and more.

The Advantage Fiber program will help community leaders and economic developers more effectively market business, office parks and industrial sites for site selection by emphasizing the availability of high-speed, fiber-based services in selected cities and towns, said Jim Flanagan, executive director of the DeSoto County EDC.

“Tools like the C Spire Advantage Fiber program can help put us at the top of the list when prospective employers are looking for a place to call home and bolster our efforts to drive job creation and incremental economic growth,” Flanagan said, noting that most businesses considering expansion or relocation closely assess the state of telecommunications technology infrastructure.

Information and communications technology infrastructure is a key site selection factor, according to Area Development Magazine, the leading publication covering site selection and facility planning. The magazine’s 2016 corporate executive survey showed that availability of advanced broadband is one of the top 10 relocation factors for U.S. businesses.

“Access to fiber optics is an expectation for almost every industry. For a community, the telecommunications infrastructure is critical in the retention and attraction of companies and the subsequent capital investment associated with them,” said Larry Gigerich, managing director of Ginovus, one of the key contributors to the latest Area Development survey.

DeSoto County Board of Supervisors President Jessie Medlin said the ability to highlight the availability of this type of high-tech infrastructure is an invaluable aid to local economic development efforts by community, business and government leaders. “Advantage Fiber gives us another economic development tool to market our areas to potential employers,” Medlin said.

Mississippi State Senator David Parker, who represents DeSoto County in the Legislature, said the C Spire designation is a “game changer” for communities competing for jobs and investment. “When companies come calling, we have renewed confidence that they can check off the access to fiber-based infrastructure and facilities box,” Parker said.

Sometimes, potential investors are not aware of an area’s robust, fiber-based communications infrastructure, resulting in missed opportunities for local business and economic developers, said Brian Caraway, senior vice president of Enterprise Markets for CSBS. “Advantage Fiber helps communities tout the existence of fiber facilities and avoid those circumstances,” he said.

C Spire’s extensive fiber optic network has enough bandwidth to support a wide range of enterprise-grade voice, data and cloud services with the highest levels of redundancy and maximum uptime supported by award-winning IT and technical teams that live and work locally, according to Caraway.

“Our platform, combined with our state-of-the-art data center and significant buried fiber network, positions C Spire as the premier provider of fiber-based business Internet services,” Caraway said.

The company operates a $23 million purpose-built and Uptime Institute-certified Tier 3 commercial data center, the only one of its class within a 250 mile radius of its location in Starkville, Mississippi. The 23,800 square foot facility meets SOC, HIPAA and PCI requirements and uses premium providers on all critical systems.

C Spire Business Solutions offers businesses a comprehensive suite of enterprise-grade communications solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud services. To learn more about the Advantage Fiber program, go to www.cspire.com/fiberaccess. For more information on other CSBS services, go to www.cspire.com/business.

About C Spire Business Solutions
C Spire Business Solutions offers businesses a comprehensive suite of enterprise-grade technology solutions for IP voice, dedicated Internet access, wireless 4G LTE and a suite of cloud-based services. The business unit provides advanced technology business-to-business sales, service, support and account management through dedicated, knowledgeable teams who live and work nearby and who understand the complex needs, markets and challenges facing individual businesses. For more information about C Spire Business Solutions and its products and services, visit www.cspire.com/business, call 855-CSPIRE2 (277-4732) or email enterprisesales@cspire.com.