Some parts of DeSoto County are about to enjoy a major “speed boost” in broadband internet service.
C Spire Home Services is beginning work this week to install what it calls its residential Fiber-to-the-Home program. It features ultra-fast Gigabit speed internet access, award-winning live streaming television and premium digital home phone service.
The first work on the infrastructure installation began this week in a Southaven neighborhood with plans to expand into areas of Olive Branch, Hernando and the outlying areas of DeSoto County later in the summer.
By August, the first customers should enjoy the new service and about 20,000 customers will have access by the end of the year, according to C Spire Home Services general manager Ashley Phillips.
“Residential fiber is a game-changer and this revolutionary technology infrastructure promises to boost home values, broaden entertainment opportunities, help expand the local economy and improve the quality of life for homeowners,” Phillips said. “We expect to move quickly to activate these services.”
“Improving our broadband infrastructure is one way we can dramatically boost the quality of life in our city,” said Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite. “As the gateway to Mississippi, our residents and businesses deserve the best internet access, entertainment and voice communications services available today. C Spire is helping us realize that dream.”
The DeSoto County residential fiber program is leveraging new infrastructure additions in key areas in Northwest Mississippi to C Spire’s nearly 9,000 route miles of backbone fiber optic cable that spans the state.
Mississippi Public Service Commission Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley, a long-time advocate for advanced broadband infrastructure, said he expects the 21st century technology will transform the way homeowners live, work and play while boosting education, job opportunities and economic development in DeSoto County.
“Great internet access is critical to our success and I appreciate C Spire’s continuing efforts to make it a reality here,” Presley said.
Jim Flanagan, president and CEO of the DeSoto County Economic Development Council, said fast, reliable internet is central to communications, business expansion and economic development.
“This will make it easier for workers to telecommute and attractive for existing businesses to expand or new firms to relocate to our region,” said Flanagan.
With the addition of unincorporated areas of DeSoto County, Southaven, Olive Branch and Hernando, C Spire has rolled out ultra-fast Gigabit internet access and related services in 20 Mississippi markets, boosting overall broadband connection speeds in the state by 200 percent since 2014.
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.