Corinth, others hear optic Internet pitch

By Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – A team from Corinth joined about 100 others in Ridgeland on Monday to learn more from C Spire about qualifying as a First Launch Community for new fiber optic Internet service.

Mayor Tommy Irwin was joined by Aldermen Andrew “Bubba” Labas and A.L. “Chip” Wood, as well as Gary Chandler, president of The Alliance economic development organization, and Johnny Crotts of Cook Coggin Engineers.

“They’re starting in Mississippi with this and it’s pretty exciting,” Irwin said in a telephone interview as the group headed back to Northeast Mississippi. “We have to have all our work done by Oct. 20, and in early November they’ll let us know who made the first cut. Hopefully we’ll be there at the end of the day.”

Among other Northeast Mississippi cities attending the meeting were Holly Springs and Starkville.

Irwin and other Corinth officials hope the installation of fiber optic lines by Telepak earlier this year will give the city some slight advantage. They’re also expecting information from Alcorn County Electric Power Association about the extent of fiber optic lines already installed throughout Corinth and Alcorn County.

C Spire announced last week that it would be installing fiber optic Internet service that would be 100 times faster than any other Internet service currently available in a number of pilot communities.

The “Get Fiber First” initiative will be awarded to communities on a “first come first serve” basis, and interested communities have a number of prerequisites they must meet to qualify, including demonstrating widespread community support for the service.

“This service offers all kinds of openings in education, recruiting industry and economic development,” Irwin said.

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com