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C Spire Brings Speedzone to Pavilion

The new C Spire Speedzone in the Pavilion lobby will be highly contemporary, featuring digital displays, power-port enabled furniture, and high-speed connectivity. Courtesy UM Foundation
The new C Spire Speedzone in the Pavilion lobby will be highly contemporary, featuring digital displays, power-port enabled furniture, and high-speed connectivity. Courtesy UM Foundation

“This evolution of technology in daily life and social organization has led to the fact that the modernization of information and communication processes has become the driving force of social evolution.” – Digital technology and social change expert Dr. Martin Hilbert.

That statement is perhaps nowhere more true than on the University of Mississippi campus where technology abounds among students, many of whom carry three or more electronic devices everywhere they go.

Laptops have replaced three-ring binders for organizing class notes, homework is paperless, and assignments are submitted wirelessly. Students exchange ideas with their teachers and peers via bits and bytes of information transmitted through iPads. Conversations take place by cell phone, not in calls, but in texts, tweets and even labeled images.

Wi-Fi access is no longer simply a convenience if available; it’s a necessity for the nearly 25,000 students, faculty and staff, along with hundreds of thousands of visitors to the 840-acre campus. When students need to access information and communicate with their academic community, instant connectivity is expected.

In response to the university’s growing need for high-speed access, C Spire is partnering with the Ole Miss Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and IMG, the university’s multimedia rights partner, to establish the C Spire Speedzone – a state-of-the-art, 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) fiber optic-enabled Wi-Fi network in the mezzanine and lobby area of the Pavilion at Ole Miss, the school’s new cutting-edge basketball arena.

“The C Spire Speedzone will offer students unparalleled connectivity speeds while they hang out, study, stream music and movies, enjoy gaming and more,” said Michael Thompson, UM senior associate athletics director for communications and marketing.

The Speedzone, which is expected to be ready in time for the opening of the multipurpose arena in January, will feature Rebel Wi-Fi powered by C Spire, giving students and fans the fastest available fiber-optic connectivity and Internet experience on game days and throughout the week, Thompson said.

“The Speedzone delivers tomorrow’s technology today to an area that is quickly becoming a very busy part of campus,” said Hu Meena, president and CEO for C Spire. “We are supporting the Ole Miss community by accelerating the flow of information. We’re excited about the future and the opportunities we expect this high-tech infrastructure will unlock for students, and, on game days, Rebel fans. The possibilities and opportunities with this type of next-generation gathering place are limited only by our imagination.”

The space itself will be highly contemporary, featuring digital displays of Ole Miss sports Twitter feeds, other social media content and traditional news feeds. All furnishings are power-port enabled, allowing students to sit down, plug in and have instant high-speed Internet access using their electronic devices and laptop computers. C Spire will have a physical presence in the Speedzone with a kiosk of communications and technology products and services.

“We want the C Spire Speedzone to become a second student union, where students feel comfortable and take ownership of the space,” said Keith Carter, senior associate athletics director for development and executive director of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation.

Courtesy of Bill Dabney & UM Foundation

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