The city of Clinton, Miss., and C Spire have signed a franchise agreement for the communications company's new broadband fiber home Internet service.
Officials tell The Clarion-Ledger that the agreement approved Tuesday is for 25 years, with two 10-year automatic rollovers that C Spire can trigger unless the company gives notice otherwise at least six months in advance. Clinton's contract with AT&T ran for 10 years.
Clinton becomes the fifth city in Mississippi to adopt the agreement. Ridgeland, Quitman, McComb and Corinth also have already adopted the proposals.
Each was one of nine cities selected to be among the first to receive the 1-gig broadband. Thirty-three cities submitted applications after C Spire unveiled its Fiber to the Home program in late September. The franchise agreements have to be executed by both the cities and the telecommunications company before installation of the fiber can begin.
Starkville's aldermen will hold a public hearing on the agreement on Dec. 3.
In Horn Lake, aldermen are taking public comment on the proposal.
Hattiesburg deputy city clerk Kermas Eaton said aldermen there will consider the proposal in December.
Batesville officials held a public forum Tuesday on the agreement.
C Spire will pay franchise fees equal to the lesser of 3 percent of gross revenues the company makes from the sale of basic video services or the lowest percentage payable by a third-party provider of video services. Additional franchise fees will be 2 percent of the revenue C Spire makes from the sale of the broadband's home phone services.
C Spire will pay the fees quarterly. Underpayments discovered by an annual audit that exceed 5 percent will be recoverable by the city. The 3 percent franchise fee is the same for other utility vendors, Jones said.
A neighborhood will become a "fiberhood" by rounding up enough committed customers, Clinton director of communications Mark Jones told aldermen.
C Spire said it would like to have the broadband installed to some homes in the selected cities by mid-2014. The 1-gig broadband is already available to schools and businesses.