C Spire is installing more than 33 miles of fiber across four counties in Mississippi in order to provide faster broadband speeds to rural areas.
The underground fiber infrastructure is being built across parts of Hinds, Madison, Amite and Pike counties in order to provide gigabit speeds and other services to businesses and consumers by December.
C Spire was one of 19 recipients of a total of $75 million in federal grant funds under the Mississippi Broadband COVID-19 program designed to help residents and businesses in unserved or underserved areas of the state gain access to faster, more reliable internet services his year. Each recipient was required to match 50 percent of the overall cost of their individual project.
"Our current public health crisis has shown that Mississippians are in critical need of fast, reliable, symmetric broadband internet service," said C Spire CEO Hu Meena. "This program will help get more broadband in more places more quickly by relying on public-private partnerships to expand the availability of high-quality, symmetric internet access."
In addition to more telehealth and curbside services due to the coronavirus, students and employees were sent home over the past five months due to Covid-19 pandemic. Internet access has taken on added importance during the pandemic, but it is sorely lacking in some rural areas of Mississippi.
C Spire will install underground fiber infrastructure for dozens of residents in rural Hinds County along Highway 18 southwest of Raymond and northwest of Utica along Highway 27. In north central Madison County, the company plans to deploy fiber to serve businesses in Canton west of Interstate 55 along Virlilia Road.
In southwest Mississippi, C Spire will trench fiber for dozens of rural residents and businesses in an area southwest of the town of Liberty in Amite County along Highway 48. In Pike County, C Spire will provide fiber access for residents north of Osyka along Highway 51 and west of the town along Highway 584 and Old Mill Road.