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Starkville becomes second 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 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 TV and home phone services.

Starkville’s Cotton District fiberhood, which includes downtown and the central business district, reached its 45 percent pre-registration target Wednesday and now joins the South Montgomery and Timbercove fiberhoods, which qualified earlier this year for the service.

The three areas in Starkville, along with four areas in the cities of Horn Lake, Starkville 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 earlier this month in the South Montgomery area 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 Ridgeland last month and in Quitman earlier this month.

“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 was an important addition in the city’s push to get the game-changing technology in all 10 of its fiberhoods.

“This is the cultural center of our city and the first area that’s not entirely residential to qualify for the service,” Wiseman said, noting the Cotton District fiberhood has a mixture of single family homes, multi-family residences and businesses. “I’m excited that we will be bringing this advanced technology capability into downtown Starkville and about the new opportunities for creative, innovative uses of all that C Spire Fiber to the Home has to offer.”

Wiseman 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 Hiwassee and the Oktibbeha Gardens fiberhoods. “Hopefully, as construction continues and as consumers begin to experience the service, the momentum will continue to build in those areas and throughout the city.”

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 Wiseman said grassroots efforts in Starkville are really starting to reap huge dividends.

“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 on doorsteps about the implications of this opportunity for our city.”

With construction under way 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 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 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 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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