28 Jan C Spire to spend $1B over 3 years on fiber | Light Reading
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. C Spire is ramping up an unprecedented growth project with a $1 billion investment over the next three years the largest capital spend in company history – to accelerate the deployment of all-fiber Gigabit broadband internet in key parts of its service area in the southeastern U.S.
The project also will provide ultra-fast, all-fiber broadband services to over 200,000 homes and business by 2025 in Mississippi and Alabama, where the diversified telecommunications and technology services firm recently expanded its broadband internet availability, and result in faster delivery of 5G wireless technology in Mississippi markets.
When completed, the project is expected to expand next-generation, ultra-fast broadband services across Alabama and Mississippi. In Alabama, C Spire has plans to deliver all-fiber gigabit service in over two dozen Alabama markets. In Mississippi, fiber infrastructure will be expanded to within 1,000 feet of half of the state’s residential premises and deliver game-changing 5G service – the next generation of mobility – to nearly 600 sites covering over 60 percent of the state.
“We have a strong reputation of providing world-class products and services to consumers and businesses and this investment signals that we intend to deliver these benefits faster than ever before,” said C Spire CEO Hu Meena, noting that the firm will make the initial investment in three years with another $500 million in capital spending over a five-year period.
Meena said the investment is expected to generate at least 250 new direct jobs in Alabama and result in millions of dollars in secondary economic benefits for both states through contracts and agreements with firms who will help C Spire with the massive infrastructure deployment and construction efforts.
Meena noted that C Spire has already launched Gigabit broadband for consumers in Jasper, will offer service in Trussville next month and has plans to build robust fiber hoods in more than two dozen markets across Alabama as part of its Fiber Fast initiative. “This is a game-changer, helping grow the economy and improving the quality of life for everyone,” he said.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said the C Spire investment in broadband infrastructure will help strengthen the state’s economy, education system, health care options and infrastructure investment efforts. “C Spire’s investment and commitment to the expansion of all-fiber broadband services will help us make a difference in bridging the digital divide, which is a real challenge in our state, especially in rural areas,” she added.
Business executives also expressed support for the C Spire investment initiative, including the 2,662-member Business Council of Alabama, whose President and CEO Katie Boyd Britt noted that up to 5,000 new businesses would benefit from the broadband infrastructure improvements.
“This decision by C Spire will help the BCA achieve our goals of growing the state’s $228 billion economy, creating jobs, and encouraging investment in Alabama,” Britt said, noting that the C Spire investment will help the organization further its “mission to create an environment where all businesses can grow and flourish.”
Meena said C Spire plans to move quickly and aggressively in 2021 to bring the cutting-edge technology benefits to consumers and businesses in both states, leveraging several recent acquisitions, including Teklinks and Harbor Communications, to accelerate its growth and expansion efforts.