The staff of C-Spire continues to expand its high-speed fiber Internet throughout the Town of Sumrall, with work taking place this week in the Southdown area.
Mayor Joel Lofton said officials are encouraging all residents who have not been contacted about the service to reach out to C-Spire at www.cspire.com/home-services to request installation at their home or business.
“If you’re interested, please go to that link and sign up,” he said. “The more interest that is shown, the faster, we feel like, it will get to us.”
C-Spire began the installation process in Sumrall in mid-2021 by completing business installations and gauging interest for residential service. Once the required threshold of that interest was reached, engineering officially started, with an expected installation timeline of nine to 12 months.
While Sumrall does have Internet providers that service some portions of town, there are some areas that currently cannot be reached by those providers.
“(Fiber) is great,” Lofton said. “People have asked for improved services, and they’re coming.
“We’ve had a lot of advances in the last year with fiber internet, and we’ve got good providers now. A lot of people have multiple choices for high-speed now. Two years ago, people didn’t have any choice for high-speed, so it’s awesome.”
The installation work has hit a rough patch or two, such as boil-water issues and gas line breaches, but those were easily corrected.
“You dial 811 and you go out and mark the lines, and they’re doing the best they can, and I think the crews that bought the lines did the best they can,” Lofton said in mid-December. “But some of that 50 or 60-year, or older, infrastructure nobody even knows where it is; we don’t have maps.
“We haven’t had big problems in that section of town; it was actually last week when we had the overall outage, and that was a different crew that was running line, and I actually believe it was C-Spire. But they were in a different area of town; it wasn’t even under the contract with that – that was actually running fiber to the voting precinct when they hit that line, so it wasn’t the crew that was doing the fiber-at-home work.”
Lofton said in addition to residents already living in Sumrall, high-speed Internet also is helpful to attract those individuals who may be looking to move to town.
“It’s a concern,” he said. “As residents move in, that’s one of the things that they need to know, is that they’ll be able to connect and communicate with online resources.
“If we don’t have this improvement, it could be a hindrance to our growth.”
Lofton said he received positive feedback from residents from the first two neighborhoods that were connected to the C-Spire service.
“It seems to be very good in those areas,” he said. “So I would expect the same positive impacts in (other areas).
“They have not given us a timeline; as a for-profit company, they schedule their work as to how it best impacts their bottom line. So as people continue to sign up for the service, and indicate in the online portal for C-Spire, I think that will speed the process.”