(Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 23--Horn Lake is continuing to push sign-up for new ultra high-speed home Internet service in the wake of the city's Allen neighborhood becoming the first in the state to meet preregistration targets for the fiber optics initiative by Mississippi-based C Spire.
The Horn Lake neighborhood, along with a neighborhood in Starkville and the entire town of Quitman, become the first to "go green," meaning they've met sign-up quotas that C Spire deemed necessary to make the engineering costs of providing the service financially feasible.
Specific numbers haven't been announced, but C Spire, a regional wireless provider formerly known as Cellular South and based in the Jackson suburb of Ridgeland, said the Allen neighborhood met its target last weekend when community volunteers canvassed the area.
The Horn Lake neighborhood was "followed quickly," according to a C Spire release, by a neighborhood in Starkville, where Mississippi State University is based, and the entire city of Quitman, south of Jackson along the Alabama border in Clarke County.
Horn Lake, Starkville and Quitman were among nine cities chosen by C Spire to be the first in Mississippi to receive the new fiber optics residential service, based on online competition to gauge levels of enthusiasm. The other cities selected were Batesville, Corinth, Clinton, Hattiesburg, McComb and Ridgeland.
The nine selected cities were told engineering work to provide the service would begin once neighborhoods within those cities that had the available infrastructure met sign-up targets.
Horn Lake Mayor Allen Latimer said he's excited sign-up is going well and that the push will continue to meet sign-up targets in other Horn Lake neighborhoods where the service is possible. Other neighborhoods identified include Somerset, Apple Creek, Wellington and Holly Hills.
"It's very exciting for our city," Latimer said. "This technology will put us at the front of the line for higher-paying jobs, more technology investment and a better quality of life."
Though such fiber optics technology, touted as being up to 100 times faster than current broadband connections, is already available for businesses, the C Spire initiative is the first in Mississippi to make it available in homes. Proponents say it will vastly improve the capabilities of home-based businesses now, and will pave the way for new Internet technologies in the future that would not currently be available in a residential setting.
In other areas that have offered similar fiber optics residential initiatives, such as Google in Kansas City, supporters say home values have increased because of the amenity.
There's no time limit on selected cities and neighborhoods meeting preregistration numbers, but Jared Baumann, brand product manager for C Spire consumer fiber services, said the company hopes to go live with the service by this summer in the first neighborhoods to go green.
Pricing for the service is $70 a month for 1-gigabit Internet service, $90 a month if combined with phone service, $130 a month if combined with digital TV service or $150 a month for all three services.
(c)2014 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)
Visit The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) at www.commercialappeal.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services