Files for extension that further postpones advanced voice and data upgrades
Ridgeland, Miss., (April 30, 2020) – C Spire today called on AT&T to end more than two years of legal delays, which has saddled Mississippi taxpayers with $21.6 million in higher costs, and stop its efforts to block implementation of a new advanced voice and data contract with the Mississippi Department of Information Technology that promises to vastly improve services for state agencies, schools, libraries and other entities.
Below is a recounting of the facts in this case:
- December 2017 – ITS awards C Spire state contract for voice and data services after an extensive review and a competitive bidding process by multiple vendors, including C Spire and AT&T. C Spire voice and data services cost were $32.8 million lower than AT&T’s bid over the 8-year term and employed the latest fiber-based technologies for advanced services.
- February 2018 – AT&T appeals ITS decision awarding voice and data contract to C Spire
- May 2018 – ITS staff rejects AT&T’s appeal finding it “without merit.”
- May 2018 - ITS Board unanimously affirms ITS staff decision.
- June 2018 – AT&T files an appeal with the Hinds County First Judicial District Circuit Court.
- June 2018 – Case is transferred to Hinds County First Judicial District Chancery Court.
- February 2019 – Chancery Court denies AT&T’s appeal, finding that ITS decision was not arbitrary and capricious or unsupported by substantial evidence
- February 2019 – AT&T files an appeal of the Chancery Court decision with the Mississippi State Supreme Court
- April 16, 2020 – Mississippi State Supreme Court unanimously upholds Chancery Court decision denying AT&T appeal
- April 28, 2020 – AT&T asks for two-week continuance to May 14 to file a motion for rehearing of the Supreme Court’s decision
State, consumer benefits
- C Spire fiber-based voice and data services, in some cases two or three generations better than existing services
- Future-proofing state technology needs with millions of feet of fiber-optic infrastructure capable of providing ultra-fast internet speeds up to 106 Gigabits per second
- Savings of $32.8 million in taxpayer dollars over life of contract after appeals are exhausted
- Mississippi taxpayers have paid more than $21.6 million more than C Spire for existing, inferior services from AT&T during the appeal period and will incur $385,000 in additional costs during the two-week time period that AT&T is filing its petition for a rehearing.
- Mississippi print and electronic news media outlets can report and editorialize on this topic to help encourage a timely resolution. C Spire representatives are available to provide additional background information and for interviews.
About C Spire
C Spire provides a full suite of world-class, customer-inspired dedicated Internet, IP Voice, data, managed services, cloud services, value added resale and mobile communications to businesses and wireless, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access and related home services for consumers. This news release and other announcements are available at www.cspire.com/news. For more information about C Spire, visit cspire.com or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at twitter.com/cspire.