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C Spire celebrates first commercial 1 Gbps Fiber to the Home customer launch in Ridgeland with 100x faster Internet, super HD TV and home phone service

Only statewide 1 Gig ultra-fast consumer broadband initiative in the U.S. promises to boost home values, attract high-tech investment and provide new, higher paying jobs

Ridgeland, Miss. (November 12, 2014) – Ridgeland is poised to become home to the world’s fastest Internet as C Spire activates the town’s first customers today on its ultra-high speed 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) consumer broadband Internet network.

C Spire, a Ridgeland-based diversified telecommunications and technology services company, turned up service for its first commercial Fiber to the Home customers in Ridgeland, making the metropolitan suburb one of the first in Mississippi and one of only a handful nationwide with access to fiber-based broadband Internet that is 100 times faster than the national average along with super HD TV and related home phone services.

Local government, business and community leaders joined C Spire executives to celebrate the historic technology milestone at a news conference Wednesday outside the home of Ridgeland resident Gerald McKinney, who is among the first Gigabit Internet customers in the town.

Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee, whose city already has a reputation as Mississippi’s most tech-friendly town, said the technology infrastructure will help attract business investment and new residents looking for next-generation Internet and related services.

“It’s exciting to know that Gigabit Internet is now a reality in our city,” McGee said. “I really believe this is going to help us qualify other areas in the city more quickly now that people know it is available.”

McKinney said residents are pleased about getting improved services and for the prospect of helping the city become a hub for technology investment, economic expansion and a better quality of life. “I’m excited about this technology and I know my friends and neighbors are, too” he said.

The city was one of the first to qualify for the next-generation services earlier this year along with areas in the cities of Quitman and Starkville. C Spire already has turned up service for its first commercial customers in Quitman and activated service today in Starkville and Ridgeland.

C Spire and local officials were jointed at the news conference by key technology leaders and advocates, who discussed how the game-changing technology will benefit residents, businesses and students.

Innovate Mississippi CEO Tony Jeff said the lightning fast Internet speeds mean home connections now rival or, in many cases, outpace enterprise network connections at work locations. “The implications of a robust, widely available and ultra-fast Internet infrastructure are potentially huge for local, regional and state economic advances and technology investment,” he said.

C Spire wants to capitalize on the technology advances and is on a mission to move Ridgeland and other Mississippi cities from worst to first in national rankings for average Internet speeds and consumer access to super-fast broadband services, according to Suzy Hays, senior vice president of Consumer Markets.

“Fiber to the Home can be a transformative technology for communities, serving as a platform for innovation and a host of new Internet applications and experiences yet to be imagined,” Hays said. “We’re determined to show the world that Ridgeland and these other cities are ready to be a catalyst for technology investment, economic growth and job creation.”

Homeowner pre-registration in the cities began in December. Since that time, local government, community and business leaders have rallied residents in Quitman, Ridgeland and Starkville to sign up at levels that qualified multiple areas in each city for the service. Construction started in May in the first neighborhoods.

Hays said the strong support and engagement of cities is the primary reason for the fast-moving initiative’s success thus far. Since announcing the cities last November, C Spire has moved from vision to reality in 12 months. In contrast, Google, one of the largest technology companies in the world, took nearly three years before it selected and began offering Gigabit fiber services in Kansas City, Kansas. “Our initiative is a great example of what can be accomplished when cities, communities and business leaders work together to move Mississippi forward,” she said.

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

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 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.