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Ridgeland becomes first Mississippi city to qualify three areas for C Spire’s 1 Gbps fiber to the home Internet technology initiative

C Spire announced today that homeowner pre-registration exceeded the required threshold in a third area of the city of Ridgeland last week – helping it qualify for the company’s ultra-fast 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) fiber to the home Internet service and related digital TV and home phone services.

Ridgeland’s Highland Colony North fiberhood, which includes The Township, Canterberry, Winrush, Carlton Park, Old Agency Village, Rolling Meadows, Hillview and Stillwood neighborhoods, reached its 45 percent pre-registration target on Friday and now joins the Bridgewater and Old Agency East fiberhoods, which qualified earlier this year for the service.

The three areas in Ridgeland, along with three areas in the cities of Horn Lake, Starkville and the entire town of Quitman, will be the first cities in Mississippi with Internet access up to 100 times faster than national average broadband speeds.

Construction started last month in the Bridgewater neighborhood of Ridgeland 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 Quitman and Starkville earlier this month.

“We’re pleased that the city of Ridgeland 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 Ridgeland and other Mississippi cities become hubs for future investment and growth.”

Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee, whose city already has a reputation as Mississippi’s most tech-friendly community, said the latest progress shows that momentum is continuing as more residents learn about the opportunity to invest in their neighborhood’s future.

“It’s exciting to know that we have qualified another area of the city for this ground-breaking service,” McGee said. “I really believe we’re going to see more areas qualify more quickly as we continue to share the opportunity with homeowners.”

McGee said several other parts of the city are continuing to make good progress and are expected to qualify for the next-generation technology in the near future, including the Ann Smith and Montrachet, Muirwood and Camden Park fiberhoods. “That’s a good thing because we want to ensure that this service is available in every area of our city where residents want it,” he added.

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.

Since that time, local government, community and business leaders in the nine Mississippi cities have rallied residents to pre-register at percentage levels that will 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 McGee said efforts in Ridgeland are really starting to reap big dividends.

Ridgeland’s latest success follows a decision by C Spire late last month to issue new “fiberhood” maps for the city, reducing the size of several of the city’s 11 fiberhoods and the corresponding number of households needed to pre-register for the high-speed Internet and related digital TV and home phone services. The changes were made primarily to remove large apartment complexes and related buildings that were already under long-term or exclusive agreements with other broadband providers.

McGee said a key factor in the city’s success thus far has been city staff, neighborhood groups and homeowner associations who have held meetings, distributed materials, contacted friends and used community volunteers to go door to door in Ridgeland neighborhoods educating residents on the benefits and value of ultra-high speed Internet access.

Pre-registration remains open in all nine 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 will be available for $70 a month, $90 a month for combined Internet and home phone, $130 a month for Internet and digital 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 McGee and other city leaders understand the public policy benefits of 1 Gigabit infrastructure and Ridgeland residents are responding enthusiastically to this historic opportunity,” Hays said. “We’re looking forward to bringing tomorrow’s technology to Ridgeland and these other Mississippi communities 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 later this summer. The service is expected to pave the way for improvements in the areas of healthcare, education, civic life, municipal services 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.

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