C Spire plans to spend $1 billion over the next three years to speed deployment of 5G and fiber Gigabit broadband in Mississippi and Alabama. The company says the money represents the largest capital spend in its history. C Spire CEO Hu Meena said the firm will make the initial investment in three years, with another $500 million in capital spending over a five-year period.
The project will result in faster delivery of 5G wireless technology in Mississippi markets and provide broadband to over 200,000 homes and businesses by 2025 in Mississippi and Alabama. Meena said the investment is expected to result in fiber within reach for half of all Mississippians – a record for the Southeast and 12th best in the U.S. It will also bring millions of dollars in secondary economic benefits for both states through contracts and agreements with firms that will help C Spire with the massive infrastructure deployment and construction efforts, he added.
“I’m thrilled to see that C Spire is investing so much to build out its high-speed internet infrastructure to support the future of education, health care, technology, and small business in Mississippi,” said U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, (R-MS). Wicker praised C Spire’s commitment to rapid deployment of 5G fast service to virtually every major part of the state with the activation of more than 300 sites by the end of this year.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said the infrastructure initiative will reap immediate dividends in a state where so many of its key priorities and initiatives rely on robust broadband technology infrastructure, including education, workforce development, healthcare and economic growth. “We need companies like C Spire stepping up to the plate to move our state forward.” Business executives also expressed support for the C Spire investment initiative, including the 10,000-member Mississippi Business Council and the Mississippi Development Authority.
C Spire plans to move quickly in 2021, to bring 5G and broadband benefits to consumers and businesses in both states, leveraging several recent acquisitions, including Teklinks and Harbor Communications, to accelerate its growth and expansion efforts.