Fiber-optics to ‘redefine’ communities, C Spire exec says

Published 8:08 pm Friday, February 7, 2014

Statewide fiber-optic internet service is the way of the future for Mississippi communities, a senior C Spire executive told Vicksburg Rotarians Thursday.

“We really are on the cutting edge of some of the technological advances in Mississippi,” said David Miller, senior media relations manager for the Mississippi-based communications company.

Fiber-optic services provide up to 100 times the speed of traditional broadband internet, which can send about 10 megabytes of information per second. Fiber-optic cables can send 1 gigabyte of information, vastly decreasing the time it would take for a video to stream on YouTube, for instance.

“It has an increased capacity to carry information … and can transmit it with high quality,” he said. “The quality of that experience is dramatically impacted by what speed you have or don’t have. This provides tremendous opportunity for a premiere experience.”

Miller said high-tech companies and startups wanting to relocate are more likely to move to communities with fiber-optic Internet service.

“The exciting part about fiber to the home is what it can do to transform communities in Mississippi,” he said.

Miller highlighted an experiment done by Google with fiber-optic cable and the impact it had in Kansas City, Kan.

“When you look at homes connected to fiber, property values have gone up 4, 7, and in some cases, 9 percent,” he said. “This has the potential to help communities redefine themselves. Our company is committed to making this available across the state.”

“It’s not, ‘if you build it they might come. It’s, ‘if you build it, they will come,’” Miller added.

Currently, C Spire is running fiber-optic cable to nine communities, including Clinton and Ridgeland in central Mississippi. Miller said 33 cities and towns in the state have applied.

“It’s really up to city and county leaders,” he said. “With all the communities in Mississippi, we have to work with them on installing the infrastructure.”

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said the city had already applied to have fiber-optic internet access.

“I hope we’ll be in the next selection,” he said. “I think it would give us a boost on bringing business and technology to the city.”