August 12, 2014 11:14:30 AM
Eight single-family Cottages at Creekside units are the first homes in Starkville to receive access to MetroCast's residential fiber-optic Internet service, the company announced Friday.
Like rival C Spire, MetroCast is also unveiling its own Fiber to the Home initiative, a service that promises high-speed Internet connections to subscribers' homes in Starkville. Comparatively, MetroCast previously promised speeds up to 50 megabytes per second throughout Starkville, while C Spire's 1 gigabyte-per-second service is in the engineering and construction phase in three neighborhoods. A fourth, the Hiwassee/Reed Road/Hospital "fiberhood," is nearing pre-registration marks needed before construction efforts begin.
The Cottages at Creekside rollout, according to a MetroCast release, is the deployment's first phase. Others are expected, but the company did not outline when and where the service will go active next.
In Oxford, 17 single-family units also were recently wired for the fiber service and are expected to go live this week.
MetroCast deployed Fiber to the Home this spring in Carthage and operates the service in Maryland and Virginia.
"We are excited to bring this advanced technology to these residents in Starkville and Oxford," said Rick Ferrall, MetroCast regional general manger, in a release. "Fiber to the Home will provide high levels of reliability and will ensure that residents have access to quality video, Internet and phone services, backed with first-rate customer service and technical support."
Since C Spire announced its own fiber initiative last year, both it and MetroCast have vied for potential and existing customers. While volunteers pushing the C Spire service canvassed several areas of Starkville in an attempt to increase pre-registration marks, MetroCast sent its own marketers into the community to advertise current and future services.
Both C Spire's and MetroCast's fiber-optic services will offer a combination of Internet, phone and television subscriptions for customers.
Local officials have lauded both companies' services as significant boons for economic development, revitalization, quality of life and educational initiatives.
Last month, Block Communications Inc. announced it will acquire MetroCast Mississippi, a subsidy of the Frazer, Pennsylvania-based Harron Communications, by the end of 2014.
Almost 100,000 customers in 16 Mississippi counties, including Oktibbeha County, receive Internet or cable services from MetroCast Mississippi. The company also services Red Bay, Alabama.
Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch
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