Quitman Mayor Eddie Fulton Wins 2015 Cornerstone Award From Broadband Communities for Helping Clarke County Town Qualify for C Spire Fiber to the Home
Leader lauded as major force behind Quitman’s successful “Small Town, Big Future” campaign to become the first Mississippi city to get 1 Gbps ultra-fast consumer broadband Internet access
Austin, Texas (April 17, 2015) – Eddie Fulton, mayor of one of the smallest towns in America with ultra-fast 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) consumer broadband Internet access, was honored this week for his technology advocacy efforts in Mississippi by Broadband Communities.
Fulton, mayor of 2,300-population Quitman in Mississippi’s rural Clarke County, received the 2015 Cornerstone Award Wednesday during a special program attended by over 1,000 broadband industry leaders at the annual Broadband Communities Summit in Austin, Texas. Fulton was instrumental in helping forge a unique public-private technology infrastructure partnership with C Spire.
Presented annually since 2004, the Cornerstone Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments by private developments, municipalities, communities, companies, and individuals in delivering broadband over fiber for the benefit of the end user. The awards have included recognition for the most notable deployments of Fiber-to-the-Home and next-generation access technologies in the U.S. and abroad.
“We see a brighter future for our town with widespread availability of lightning fast Internet,” said Fulton, a major force behind the city’s “Small Town, Big Future” efforts to secure and build the next-generation network. “We’re grateful for the recognition, but this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity would not be possible in our town and other cities in Mississippi without C Spire’s initiative and investment.”
In their comments, a panel of industry leaders who served as Cornerstone judges praised Fulton and other “engaged and inspiring” municipal leaders, including Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee and Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman, for partnering with C Spire and aggressively pursuing the next-generation broadband technology infrastructure in their towns and communities.
“Mayor Fulton deserves special recognition as a dynamic champion of Fiber to the Home who rallied … citizens … to rigorously pursue a vision to qualify for C Spire’s multi-million dollar investment in their community,” said Scott DeGarmo, president and CEO of Broadband Communities.
DeGarmo said Fulton’s passionate and aggressive leadership resulted in Quitman becoming the first and only Mississippi town where the entire community qualified for Gigabit Internet and related services. “The judges took special note of how the campaign inspired young people to rally support in their families for Gigabit service – often in place of cherished consumer purchases.”
Fulton, who recruited an army of community, business, faith, education and neighborhood volunteers to help the small, rural town quickly qualify for the game-changing service last year, said C Spire’s technology initiative is the most important development for his city in the last half century. “It’s a Godsend … we’re ecstatic to say the least. Having fiber optics in our city is a tremendous gateway for the future and will open the door to opportunities we could only dream about before.”
Fulton told the conference that Quitman is working hard to take advantage of the economic, education and workforce development benefits provided by the game-changing technology. Since C Spire turned up commercial service last November, the town is launching a 4H robotics program, a technology start up incubator program and is expanding a telemedicine program in local schools.
The city has installed a 3D printer in the public library, is developing a municipal website and is placing QR coding in downtown buildings with historical significance. Town leaders also are working with the Intelligent Community Institute at Mississippi State University to develop a long-term plan to market the next-century infrastructure to boost technology investment, economic growth and job creation.
In addition to Quitman, C Spire turned up commercial Gigabit Internet access and related Super HDTM TV and home phone services for the first residential customers in Ridgeland and Starkville last year and expects to activate service in three other Mississippi cities - Clinton, Corinth and Jackson - later this year. Madison was added as the 7th Mississippi city in the program last month and is working to qualify its first areas.
C Spire received the Cornerstone Award in 2014 for its next-generation Fiber to the Home initiative in Mississippi, the first and only statewide technology initiative in the U.S. offering consumers and businesses 100 times faster Internet access and related services.
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 super HD TV and $150 a month for the entire package of all three services. Non customers are required to pay an additional $10 a month on all packages.
To learn more about C Spire’s Fiber to the Home initiative or to pre-register for the service, go to 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 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.