Gazebo Gazette

C Spire’s dogged determination to rapidly deploy next-generation technology infrastructure for consumers and businesses has resulted in the completion of a 225-mile-long fiber optic cable route from the Mississippi Gulf Coast to west Mobile, Alabama.

Contractors for the broadband and business services division of the diversified telecommunications and technology services company finished work on the two-year-plus, five phase multi-million-dollar Gulf Coast project late last month, overcoming weather delays, permitting requirements and sensitive environmental issues.

The complex project, which placed conduit and fiber optic cable underground and underneath or around several bodies of water, including the Pascagoula River, Biloxi Back Bay and Fort Bayou, spans the counties of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson in Mississippi and Mobile in Alabama, along county roads and U.S. Highway 90 in both states.

C Spire officials said completion of the route is the third major fiber long haul project covering the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts, adding to major routes already existing along U.S. Highways 98 and 45.  The latest route also provides fiber backbone to the company’s cell sites and resilience and redundancy for the network.

“Not only are we connecting our legacy fiber network in Mississippi, which we’re using to launch new ultra-fast internet access for consumers in Biloxi, Gulfport and Ocean Springs, but it also helps us expand our reach into Alabama in Mobile and Baldwin counties and Mobile Bay,” said C Spire Chief Network Officer Alan Jones.

Combined with its recent acquisition of Mobile-based Harbor Communications, C Spire is uniquely positioned to avoid service interruptions and serve the myriad of voice and data needs of consumers and businesses along the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coasts using highly reliable fiber optic infrastructure, Jones added.

“High-speed, all-fiber broadband internet service is a game-changer,” said Ashley Phillips, general manager of fiber and business markets for C Spire, noting that symmetric speeds solve real-world challenges associated with interactive learning, remote work and telehealth applications. “That’s welcome news for all Mississippians.”

C Spire is expanding its ultra-fast broadband internet services to consumers and businesses in Alabama as part of an overall $1 billion investment announced earlier this year to speed the development and deployment of fiber broadband and network enhancements across its three-state footprint.

Even though Mississippi is one of the nation’s most rural states, nearly 80 percent of the 3 million residents have access to broadband internet with at least 25 Mbps for download and 3 Mbps for upload speeds.  Rural connectivity is at 62.6 percent and urban areas in the state have achieved 97 percent penetration – thanks in large part to C Spire’s aggressive deployment of fiber-based, broadband infrastructure.

Local business leaders said C Spire’s continued fiber expansion in Mississippi is a welcome boost for new investment and economic growth.  ““You can’t travel the digital highway of the 21st century without good internet access and C Spire is making that happen on the Gulf Coast,” said Adele Lyons, CEO of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce.