Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition, C Spire announce expansion in Jasper

Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition, C Spire announce expansion in Jasper
C Spire announced it will provide high-speed internet to Jasper as part of the Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition. (Dennis Washington / Alabama NewsCenter)

The Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition (ARBC) today announced progress in expanding rural broadband to the Jasper area beginning in 2020.

The newest member of the Coalition – C Spire – will use fiber to deploy its ultra-fast next-generation Gigabit speed broadband internet access to homes and businesses in communities across the Yellowhammer State.

The Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition is working to expand high-speed internet to all parts of the state. (Getty Images)

C Spire is a Mississippi-based diversified telecommunications and technology services company that has provided wireless, broadband and managed business and data services in the Magnolia State and others across the country for over 30 years.

“This is an exciting day for the city of Jasper,” said Jasper Mayor David O’Mary. “I want to welcome C Spire to our state and thank them for their commitment in helping our community expand the technological capabilities offered to our citizens. “Expanding broadband through fiber deployment will not only mean faster, more reliable Internet for the people of Jasper, but will benefit our economic development efforts, telemedicine and so much more.”

The ARBC hosted the event to welcome C Spire into the Coalition, which is comprised of 30 organizations from across the state focused on rural broadband expansion, ranging from agriculture and business to economic development, education and health care.

ARBC was formed with the assistance of the Energy Institute of Alabama.

“For Alabamians to reach their full potential, we must compete in the ever-growing digital world in which we now live,” EIA chairman Seth Hammett said. “Initiatives such as these would not have been made possible without the leadership of Sen. Greg Reed and Rep. Connie Rowe, and so I ask all of you in attendance to join me in recognizing their efforts.”

Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition expands with C Spire from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

“We were excited to share this important update with the Jasper community about progress that has been made toward bridging the digital divide in Alabama,” Reed said. “No matter where they live, every single student, family, worker and business owner in Alabama should have access to fast, reliable Internet that allows them to thrive in the 21st-century economy. I’m pleased that my district will be at the forefront of deploying these new broadband advancements.”

The Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition is working to expand high-speed internet to all parts of the state. (Getty Images)

C Spire will contract for a portion of Alabama Power’s fiber infrastructure to support its offering of a variety of high-speed online services, such as voice, video and Internet. Alabama Power is not providing broadband services directly to customers.

At today’s announcement, executives with C Spire and Alabama Power explained how a first-of-its-kind partnership will aid this offering.

“One way we continue to enhance our electric infrastructure is through using additional fiber technologies to help maintain and improve reliability,” Alabama Power’s Division Vice President Mark Crews said. “This fiber deployment also can be used as a catalyst to help grow the state’s economy by helping advance broadband access. Strategic partnerships to expand broadband solutions, specifically in rural areas, can help better connect the state. We are proud to support C Spire and to stand with the Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition in announcing this exciting news.”

C Spire pointed to its proven track record in Mississippi of deploying broadband in rural communities in the Delta and southwest regions of the state.

“Our mission is to move communities forward,” C Spire CEO Hu Meena said. “Our products and services transform communities, and we believe that access to ultra-high-speed fiber Internet is vital to the advancement of the education, health care and economic opportunity of everyone, regardless of the size of their town. In short: C Spire is here to bring the town of Jasper tomorrow’s technology, today.”

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