By Lena Mitchell
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
Two Northeast Mississippi cities will be among the first to offer one gigabit Internet access speed to residents after being named among nine finalists for C Spire’s Fiber-to-the-Home initiative.
Corinth and Starkville join Batesville, Clinton, Hattiesburg, Horn Lake, McComb, Quitman and Ridgeland as they begin the next phase of bringing service 100 times faster than what’s available now to their communities by signing up households.
“From the very beginning, this was a grassroots, collaborative community-based effort,” said Gary Chandler, president of The Alliance economic development organization. “Corinth Fiber First took hold and flourished like nothing I’ve experienced in Corinth.”
Promoted by individuals and entities throughout the community – Corinth mayor and aldermen, Corinth School District, Magnolia Regional Health Center, the Crossroads Arena, Corinth Convention and Visitors Bureau and others – the city conducted an energetic and wide-ranging campaign.
“This is another super plus for Corinth,” said Mayor Tommy Irwin. “It puts us on the cutting edge of technology and puts us in an excellent position for opportunities for business and industry recruitment.”
Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said the nine Mississippi cities join only 60 in the nation offering such fast download speeds to their citizens.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our citizens and a great day for the city of Starkville,” Wiseman said. “I would like to thank the citizens of Starkville for sending out tweets, signing up on the website and encouraging each other to get involved in this competition.”
The nine finalist cities now begin the push to get households in designated neighborhoods signed up for the fiber optic service in high enough percentages to qualify for service to be implemented, and both Corinth and Starkville plan to begin that process immediately.
Once a critical number of neighborhoods have reached their percentage goals in an individual city, C Spire will begin construction in those areas, said Gregg Logan, senior vice president of C Spire Fiber.
C Spire is updating its website at www.cspire.com/fiberhome so that cities can track their progress in real time.