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Starkville Becomes Second Mississippi City to Qualify Four Areas for C Spire’s 1 Gbps Fiber to the Home Internet Technology Initiative

Oktibbeha County town turns another area “green” as part of nation’s first and only multi-city rollout of 100 times faster Internet access

Starkville, Mississippi (October 24, 2014) – C Spire announced today that homeowner pre-registration exceeded the required threshold in a fourth area of the city of Starkville this week – helping it qualify for the company’s ultra-fast 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 Thursday 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.

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.

“We’re pleased that the city of Starkville is continuing to show momentum and that the excitement and anticipation of Internet at the speed of light is growing there and in other Mississippi cities,” said Suzy Hays, senior vice president of Consumer Markets for C Spire. “Fiber to the home is a next-generation technology that will help Starkville and other Mississippi cities become hubs for future investment and growth.”

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 game-changing 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 game-changing 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’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 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. All of the cities have campaigns underway and many are making good progress, but Wiseman said grassroots efforts in Starkville have made the most difference.

“Our biggest champions for the program have been our citizens who see it not only as a benefit to themselves and their household, but also as a benefit to the community at large,” he said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the single most effective method for educating consumers and generating excitement about the possibilities of this technology is people having one on one conversations with neighbors about the implications of this opportunity for our city.”

With construction under way and commercial service just around the corner in Starkville, Wiseman said the tenor of the community conversation has changed dramatically. “When the technology becomes available in households, now it’s something that you can experience and go tell your friends and neighbors about. It’s one thing to say that you have Internet 100 times faster than anything currently available on the market, but it’s quite another thing to experience it and see what it’s like up close and personal.”

Pre-registration remains open in all 10 C Spire fiber cities. Residents are required to make a $10 refundable deposit and indicate their interest for specific services.

For C Spire customers, the 1 Gbps Internet access is available for $70 a month, $90 a month for combined Internet and nationwide home phone, $130 a month for Internet and digital HD TV and $150 a month for the entire package of all three services. Non customers will be required to pay an additional $10 a month.

“Mayor Wiseman and other city leaders understand the public policy benefits of 1 Gigabit infrastructure and Starkville residents are responding enthusiastically to this historic opportunity,” Hays said. “We’re looking forward to bringing tomorrow’s technology to Starkville and these other Mississippi cities today because we know that this service has the power to transform communities and improve the quality of life for everyone.”

Hays said C Spire plans to start turning up 1 Gig service in the first C Spire Fiber neighborhoods in the next couple of weeks. The service is expected to pave the way for improvements in the areas of healthcare, education, civic life, municipal services, home values and economic growth.

To learn more about C Spire’s Fiber to the Home initiative, visit www.cspire.com/fiberhome.

About C Spire
C Spire is a diversified telecommunications and technology services company that provides world-class, customer-inspired wireless communications, 1 Gigabit consumer Internet access as well as a full suite of Internet, wireless and Internet and data 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.