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Coosa among counties to be included in fiber construction project
Special to the News
C Spire, a diversified telecommunications and technology services company, has won a $26.2 million Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Middle Mile grant program award.
This award will be part of a $52.6 million fiber construction project from C Spire’s existing network in Birmingham across the southern area of the state, including areas of Autauga, Baldwin, Barbour, Bullock, Chambers, Chilton, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Coosa, Covington, Dallas, Elmore, Escambia, Greene, Hale, Henry, Houston, Lee, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Shelby, Tallapoosa, Washington, and Wilcox counties.
This grant comes during C Spire’s $500 million investment in fiber infrastructure and network enhancements in Alabama to provide ultra-fast broadband internet access for consumers and other advanced voice and data services to businesses.
“We are thrilled to secure this grant to continue expanding service to the residents of Alabama,” said Hu Meena, president and CEO of C Spire. “This reinforces our long-standing commitment to Alabama, and expansion of our services across the state, bringing ultra-fast fiber to rural communities, encouraging private sector broadband investment and leveraging existing resources to residents and businesses.”
The project known as “Connect Alabama” will encompass 677 new fiber route miles. The route affords redundancy, high reliability and high-speed broadband throughout 26 unserved/underserved Alabama counties it traverses and enables open access to last mile providers, electrical cooperatives, military facilities, and tribal areas along its path. In addition, the network proposes to support wholesale and retail broadband services throughout the life of the project.
“The ability for Alabamians to succeed in the modern economy relies on a quality broadband connection. I congratulate C Spire and Troy Cablevision on their award. I know they are committed to expanding access in the state of Alabama and look forward to working with them and regulatory agencies to help secure the necessary permits needed to expeditiously expand connectivity in the state. It is my hope that permitting agencies will move quickly to get this integral utility deployed in a timely manner,” said Rep. Barry Moore.
The NTIA’s Middle Mile grant program, part of the Department of Commerce’s “Internet for All” efforts, is designed to increase capacity to local networks, boost network resiliency, lower the cost of bringing high-speed internet service to unconnected households, and help connect unserved regions to the internet backbone.
“We must ensure rural Americans are not left behind when it comes to broadband expansion,” said Sen. Tommy Tuberville. “They need reliable internet access so they can work, operate farms, go to school, have virtual meetings, and visit their doctors through telemedicine. I appreciate C Spire and Troy Cablevision’s leadership in expanding high-speed internet access for Alabamians in unserved communities and forging a path to even more opportunities. I look forward to seeing more of Alabama’s rural and agricultural communities thrive under these new advancements.”
C Spire’s fiber enhancements in the state are part of a three-year initiative, announced in 2021 to invest $1 billion across Alabama and Mississippi – the largest capital spend in the company’s history. The initiative is accelerating the deployment of fiber across both states.
C Spire has also completed a 243-mile-long haul fiber initiative from Meridian, Mississippi, to Homewood, Alabama, bringing service to a rural part of the state that is underserved.
Also fueling the company’s expansion in Alabama was the acquisition of Troy Cable, which has secured eight state grants and a federal grant (Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and federal Rural Digital Opportunity Fund) to deploy fiber across the state, especially in rural areas. All these projects have been delivered on time or ahead of schedule, and greater than expectations.
The complete list of awardees with project details is available at www.broadbandusa.ntia.gov.
For more information about C Spire, visit www.cspire.com or follow the company on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cspire or Twitter at www.twitter.com/cspire.