RIDGELAND, Miss. (WDAM) – Portions of four, central and southwest Mississippi counties without reliable Internet service are about to enter the digital age.
C Spire recently announced it intends to spend more than $2.2 million to install ultra-fast Gigabit speed broadband Internet in parts of Amite, Hinds, Madison and Pike counties.
C Spire is covering half the cost of the project that will lay underground fiber infrastructure over 33 miles of unserved or under-served rural areas in the counties.
The company was one of 19 recipients to share in a $75 million federal grant under the Mississippi Broadband COVID-19 Program.
That initiative was designed to help residents and businesses in rural areas have access to the Internet by the end of the year.
To be considered for grant money, each participant was required to match 50 percent of the project’s cost.
“Our current public health crisis has shown that Mississippians are in critical need of fast, reliable, symmetric broadband internet service,” C Spire CEO Hu Meena said in a statement. “This program will help get more broadband in more places more quickly by relying on public-private partnerships to expand the availability of high-quality, symmetric internet access.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in mid-March, the lives of many Mississippians have been dramatically altered, including working remotely from home, students transitioning to distance learning education models, businesses using e-commerce and online ordering and medical professionals exploring creative solutions to serve patients via telehealth.
In response, C Spire will install underground fiber infrastructure for dozens of residents in rural Hinds County along Mississippi 18 southwest of Raymond and northwest of Utica along Mississippi 27.
In north central Madison County, the company plans to deploy fiber to serve businesses in Canton west of Interstate 55 along Virlilia Road.
In southwest Mississippi, the company will place fiber for dozens of rural residents and businesses in an area southwest of Liberty in Amite County along Mississippi 48.
In Pike County, C Spire will provide fiber access for residents north of Osyka along Mississippi 51 and west of the town along Mississippi 584 and Old Mill Road.
After installing the underground fiber broadband infrastructure, the company plans to start offering a suite of next-generation services, including Gigabit speed internet access for residents and businesses.
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