Light Reading

C Spire Goes Gigabit in Jackson

Jason Meyers

C Spire has begun taking orders for gigabit services on its fiber-to-the-home network in Jackson, Miss. -- the largest gigabit city in the service provider's footprint to date.

C Spire , which is based in Ridgeland, Miss., targeted several Mississippi cities for gigabit deployment last year after gauging how the communities would leverage the networks.

"We wanted to see the excitement and what kind of things the city or county would be willing to do and were proposing," says Jared Baumann, C Spire's manager of fiber market development and deployment. "We wanted to make sure we selected cities and communities that were truly excited about what gigabit fiber could bring."

Jackson is the fifth and largest of those communities targeted for gigabit network deployment to date, after Ridgeland, Starkville, Quitman and Horn Lake -- though that order is not necessarily what the operator expected.

"When we started this project, I was not thinking of the small rural towns in Mississippi -- I was thinking of the larger metropolitan areas," Baumann says. "It was very clear in many cases that the small rural towns were as excited or more excited. They understand the vision of what it could do and see it as something as important as the interstate highway system or bringing electrical service to heir towns."

Get the latest updates on the Gigabit Cities trend by visiting Light Reading's broadband/FTTx content channel.

Five other Mississippi cities -- Batesville, Clinton, Corinth, Hattiesburg and McComb -- are on C Spire's target list for gigabit network deployment. Many smaller, more rural communities around the country view the availability of gigabit services as critically important to their economic livelihood. (See The Power of the Gig and Gigabit Is the New Black.)

For residents of Jackson, online pre-registration begins today for a $10 refundable deposit. C Spire will soon post maps of the city divided into what it calls "fiberhoods" that will show what percentage of residents need to pre-register to turn an area “green” and qualify for buildout of the service.

Pricing for C Spire's offering will be $70 per month for 1Gbit/s Internet access, $90 a month for combined Internet and home phone, $130 for Internet and HD digital TV and $150 per month for all three services.

— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, Light Reading

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User Rank: Blogger
9/3/2014 | 9:01:03 AM
Re: Cautious optimisim
KBode - true, it could create some gaps in coverage if certain towns or their residents aren't as engaged and providers don't see the value of building out their networks in those regions. It will be up to the service providers to position their networks and services in ways to entice both groups. In a way this approach is the opposite of "build it and they'll come" -- "convince us you'll pay for it and then we'll build?" 
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/3/2014 | 8:41:48 AM
Re: Cautious optimisim
It certainly makes financial sense (and mirrors Google's Fiberhood approach and similar approches), but it does make you wonder what kind of highly inconsistent access to next-gen services we're going to see in the future.
User Rank: Blogger
9/2/2014 | 7:01:02 PM
Cautious optimisim
I like C Spire's business model of having cities in its territory "apply" to attract the carrier's investment in bringing the network to their communities. That helps ensure -- in theory, anyway -- that the citiies will do what they can to leverage the network to further economic and community development. It also helps protect C Spire's investment to wait until enough potential customers have signed up for service before starting buidout of the network. All in all, a smart and pragmatic approach. 

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