Regional U.S. operator C Spire is extending its fiber reach deeper into Alabama with a new 243-mile route which will provide metro and long-haul connectivity for thousands of new customers.
The route will run from Meridian in eastern Mississippi to the city of Homewood in central Alabama, circling Tuscaloosa and Northport, Alabama with a 46-mile metro fiber ring along the way. All told, the project will cross six counties including one in Mississippi and five in Alabama.
A C Spire representative told Fierce the route will serve multiple purposes: “Not only does it provide long-haul connectivity between C Spire’s legacy fiber network and it’s Alabama headquarters, colocation facilities/data centers, but it will also serve as a metro network for several distribution markets in between.”
The route will allow it to reach “thousands of residential and business premises” in the Tuscaloosa metro area and other communities along the path it would otherwise be unable to serve, the representative noted. Services on offer to these locations will include products ranging from “1 gig to the home all the way to Direct and Dedicated Internet Access services for businesses,” the representative added.
Construction on the project is expected to be complete before the end of 2022, with the route available for immediate use afterward.
Traditionally focused on serving markets in Mississippi, C Spire launched its first fiber market in Alabama in December 2020 with coverage in the city of Jasper. As of May, it said fiber service was also available in Trussville and Helena, with construction underway in Pelham.
The new multi-million dollar fiber route is part of C Spire’s recently announced plan to invest $1 billion over the next few years to expand its fiber footprint in both states. Ultimately, it aims to serve more than 24 markets in Alabama and extend coverage to more than 200,000 new locations across both states by 2025.
In June, C Spire executives told Fierce getting access to fiber backhaul was proving to be a challenge in Alabama, forcing it to simply build its own long-haul infrastructure to reach certain locations.
The operator representative said it expects to have to continue to build routes similar to the one just announced “especially in Alabama, which lacks significant long-haul and middle-mile fiber infrastructure.”