Fiber to the Home preregistrations under way

By Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

With websites activated last week to preregister households in nine Mississippi communities for 1-gigabit Internet service, the race is on to see which city will have the first connections.

In Northeast Mississippi, Corinth and Starkville are pushing for that honor, keeping the issue at the forefront for residents in the potential “fiberhoods.”

During a recent meeting, Corinth developed a strategy that includes focusing first on one of the three designated fiberhoods for preregistrations.

On Saturday, volunteers will make door-to-door visits 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at homes north of Shiloh Road, said Andrea Rose, community development director for The Alliance.

“Our volunteers will be identifiable with T-shirts C Spire has provided us,” she said. “They’ll be distributing information sheets about why you want to sign up for the high-speed Internet service, answering questions people have and helping people preregister.”

Both Corinth and Starkville have held informational town hall meetings, but Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman said they’re focusing efforts on social media like Twitter and Facebook for now, since he and other city leaders are regular social media users.

“We’ve used traditional media as well and have a television ad that’s been produced, but I don’t know if we’ll utilize it in this part of the process or not,” Wiseman said.

One of Corinth’s team members also is leading the social media aspect of the effort, and C Spire has provided the same media materials to each of its participating cities.

“There were a couple of glitches when they opened the websites, so if you signed up and didn’t get a confirmation email, you need to go back to the website and sign up again,” Rose said. “Even if you don’t know if you’re in one of the fiberhoods, go ahead and register, and it will cost a refundable $10 fee.”

Rose said anyone who brings a confirmation of preregistration to The Alliance office can receive one of the free T-shirts. She also invites anyone who wants to help encourage preregistrations in their neighborhood to call The Alliance office.

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com