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Circle Fiber delivering fiber optic cable to Jackson

Fiber is in the process of delivering fiber optic cable to the City of Jackson.

are building it out now. You see construction crews all over town,” said Kevin
Cantwell, president of Big River Communications, the parent company of Circle

Missouri Industries has eight crews burying the fiber or hanging it from utility

addition to providing fiber to homes and businesses, Circle Fiber plans to
offer free Wi-Fi to Uptown Jackson, City Park and the JHS football field.

are now starting to take orders for services,” Cantwell said. “You can go to and on that home page, it says, ‘Put your address in here,” and
if you’re in the City of Jackson, it will pull up your house and let you know
what zone you’re in, because we had the city divided up in zones as we build
out this network. We’re not waiting until the end to turn it on. As we open up
the first zone, we’ll turn services on,” he explained.

first zone is expected to be completed and turned on in April. “We hope to have
customers up in April, even though we will be working in other zones in the
city,” said Chris Simmons, president of Circle Fiber.

people don’t want to buy services from Circle Fiber, they still have the
ability to have fiber run to the side of their house. That’s called a
link. That link costs $25,” Cantwell

a house has fiber connected to it, its value goes up 3.1 percent, Cantwell
said. So even people who don’t want to use fiber may find it advantageous to
have the link installed to their house.

are some individuals in town we come across who don’t want to buy our service.
But they are going to try to sell their house sometime in the future, and the
next person may want the fiber. For $25, to increase the value of their house,
that’s better than putting in a bay window. There’s no reason everybody in town
should not have fiber run to the side of their house. They don’t have to buy
our services,” Cantwell explained.

$25 installation is a special price that’s available while construction crews
are in town. If residents wait until later, it will cost more to have workers
return, and so the price for installation will be higher.

who buy services from Circle Fiber will receive a $25 credit on their first
bill. They also get the first month of service free.

Fiber offers three products for residential customers:

300 is 300 megabytes up and down for $49.99. Fiber 500 is 500 megabytes up and
down for $59.99. There also is a one gig product that offers a gigabyte of data
up and down for $79.99.

for businesses are $79.99 for 300 mb, 119.99 for 500 mb and $299.99 for 1 gig
if bundled with telephone services. Business telephone lines are $19.99.

information is available on the Web site,

Fiber is getting a good response from Jackson residents. “The sign-ups, as of
now, since we opened it up, have been tremendous,” Cantwell said.

If residents refer
other customers to sign up, both the person making the referral and the person
being referred receive $25 credits.

Jackson is just a
starting point for this fiber system.

“This is going to be
a build-out throughout the Big River region, and we had to start somewhere. We
started in Jackson, and will work our way across I-55 into north Cape and work
our way down into Cape Girardeau,” Cantwell said.

If you live outside
of the area where fiber is being built, you can still enter your address and
phone on the Web site and Circle Fiber will consider coming to your area.

“That’s important,
too,” added Simmons. “There are some areas that we are looking at, that we think
we want to go into. If people go to the Web site and we’re not there, go ahead
and give us the information so we can take that into consideration when we look
at future areas for future build-out.”

There are plans to go
to Oak Ridge, but paperwork with the federal government has not been completed
for that area.

“This is not about
getting email faster,” said Cantwell. “This is about economic development.
This about education systems; putting our kids on a level playing field with
everybody else. This is about telemedicine. This is about putting  a next-generation gig network in rural

“This impacts
population,” he added. When students come home from college and can’t get on
the Internet, they may say, “Mom and Dad, I love you, but I can’t live here.”
And they leave. “That’s part of the digital divide that impacts rural markets,”
Cantwell said.

COVID-19 has been a
boom for the broadband industry. People have worked from home and realized they
don’t need to be in the office every day. People will be able to live in
Jackson and work for major corporations in St. Louis. They will be able to
video conference all day long.

Snow days may become
obsolete as schools could switch to virtual learning when students can’t get
there to school.

“You can’t do that if
you don’t have the infrastructure,” Cantwell said. “And that’s what we’re

Circle Fiber is
planning to wrap up construction work in the last zone in Jackson by November,
Simmons added. Some areas outside of the city limits will be completed in

will be at least another year before the project is completed to include the
City of Cape Girardeau.

Gregory Dullum has worked for The Cash-Book Journal for more than 25 years. Prior to becoming the editor in May 2017, he was production manager, circulation manager and reporter. Before moving to Cape Girardeau in 1988, he was editor of the Saint Louis Park Sailor, a weekly community newspaper in suburban Minneapolis, MN. A native of Minnesota, he returned there after graduating with distinction in 1978 from Ambassador College in Pasadena, CA, with a degree in mass communications. His wife, Marie, whom he met in college, is a native of Zalma, a small town in southeast Missouri. They have two grown daughters and five grandchildren. Gregory may be reached at

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