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C Spire details next steps in gigabit race
by Jebb Johnston
Nov 18, 2013 | 64 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The race for gigabit per second Internet service will heat up in a couple of weeks.

Steve Davidson, manager of product development for C Spire, said in Monday’s town hall meeting that a web address where Corinthians can begin to sign up will possibly be live the week after Thanksgiving. Representatives of C Spire who traveled to Corinth to speak directly with citizens did not reveal which neighborhoods in the city will be targeted.

Those yet-to-be-named areas will need to have a certain number of people pay $10 and indicate which services they want in order to turn their “fiberhood” green and secure the service.

“That number is going to be different from fiberhood to fiberhood,” said Davidson.

It could be 40 percent in one area and more or less in another, depending on population density.

He said the company is anxious to get started.

“Our goal is by the end of the calendar year, somebody, somewhere, has tipped in that category so we can start getting to work in January,” said Davidson.

The launch of service from there is expected to take several months.

The service will provide speeds of 1 gigabit per second for both downloads and uploads, and C Spire says the number of users does not affect speed.

“It is engineered completely different than anyone else … you will get what you pay for,” said Allen McIntosh, director of retail operations.

Davidson said the gigabit Fiber to the Home idea came as the company looked at its existing fiber network.

“The genesis of this is: We have a lot of fiber in the ground today,” said Davidson. “And we started thinking: Google did it … why can’t we do that?”

While cutting-edge Internet is the backbone of the service, residents at the town hall had just as many questions about the accompanying television service, which will be available in packages of 135 and 180 channels. A full list of channels will be on-line when preregistration begins.

High-definition and whole-home DVR services are included in the price. Premium and sports packages will be offered.

Television and phone services are optional, but a customer must subscribe to the Internet service to get the TV or phone services.

In the race to get a service that Davidson described as being available “almost nowhere,” he said Corinth has stood out from the beginning. He told of driving on the interstate in the Jackson area soon after the program was announced and spotting a digital billboard with an ad proclaiming, “Corinth wants fiber first.” It struck a chord, prompting him to take an exit and go back to see it again. The city’s efforts continued to generate buzz in the following weeks.

“You guys stood like a shining star out there,” he said. “You could not be ignored.”

The web address for preregistration will be cspire.com/corinth, and all sign-ups will be via the web. The website will show how close neighborhoods are to securing the service.

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