SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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Starkville Becomes First Mississippi City to Qualify Multiple Areas for C Spire’s Historic Fiber to the Home Internet Technology Initiative

C Spire announced today that homeowner pre-registration exceeded the required threshold in a second area of the city of Starkville over the weekend – 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 Timbercove, College Station and Polos fiberhood reached its 35 pre-registration target and now joins the South Montgomery fiberhood, which qualified late last month along with areas in the cities of Horn Lake and Ridgeland and the entire town of Quitman for service that promises Internet access up to 100 times faster than national average broadband speeds.

The five areas in the four cities now move into the next phase of the historic initiative where C Spire puts the finishing touches on engineering plans and starts construction of the fiber infrastructure that will serve as the platform for the next-generation services.

“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 Hu Meena, president and CEO of 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 technology in his town, said the latest progress shows that momentum is continuing to build as more residents show interest in the service.

“It’s exciting to see that we have qualified another area of the city for this ground-breaking service,” Wiseman said. “It’s encouraging to see that momentum is building because we want to ensure that we hit our goal of getting this service into every area of our town.”

Nine Mississippi Cities Part of Initial Phase of C Spire’s Ultra-Fast Fiber to the Home Initiative

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 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 efforts in Starkville are beginning to pay big dividends.

The Timbercover area had made significant progress in recent days. With volunteers aggressively canvassing the fiberhood over the weekend, the city was able to qualify its second fiberhood over the weekend, according to Jared Baumann, brand product manager for C Spire’s consumer fiber services. More fiberhoods are expected to turn “green” in the coming weeks as efforts intensify in other C Spire Fiber cities.

Wiseman said interest is only going to grow as the city moves into the next phases of construction and actual delivery of the next-generation services. “When construction starts, that will be a very visible sign that this is happening,” he said. “But when the technology becomes available in households, then it becomes 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.”

Starkville mayor vows to continue community pre-registration efforts for 1 Gig service

“We feel like this is something that everybody in Starkville will benefit from and we’re going to continue to work very hard to do everything in our power to ensure that it’s an opportunity that’s extended to everyone,” Wiseman said, noting that the city has eight remaining fiberhoods that need to reach their pre-registration targets to qualify for the service.

Wiseman said a key factor in the city’s success thus far has been community volunteers going door to door in Starkville neighborhoods educating residents on the benefits and value of ultra-high speed Internet access. “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,” he said.

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.

“Starkville’s city leaders understand the public policy benefits of 1 Gigabit infrastructure and its residents are responding enthusiastically to this historic opportunity,” Meena said. “We’re looking forward to bringing tomorrow’s technology to Starkville and these Mississippi communities today because we know that this service has the power to transform communities and improve the quality of life for everyone.”

Baumann said C Spire plans to start turning up 1 Gig service in the first C Spire Fiber neighborhoods by 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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