C Spire is moving beyond just offering cellular service to a new wired fiber service and home automation suite called C Spire Home. The package combines gigabit fiber-to-the-home internet service with home automation that includes climate control, security, and lighting, is set to launch first in Mississippi — the internet connection will come first at the end of summer 2014, with the security and automation services hitting by the end of the year. Other markets haven't been announced, but C Spire says they'll come eventually.
While gigabit internet service (that's 1,000mbps, by the way) is something many of us drool at the possibility of seeing in our lifetimes, the home automation stuff that C Spire is aspiring to is also rather interesting. C Spire Home is angling to include security cameras, open window and door sensors, smoke sensors, motion sensors, locks, climate control, appliances, and lighting all in the package.
Customers with C Spire Home will be able to control the system with both their iOS or Android smartphone, or with a touchscreen control panel from Honeywell (which we suspect is likely the source of most of the security and automation apparatus that makes up the rest of the system).
While C Spire hasn't revealed any of the costs for installation or monthly service for C Spire Home, they say it will be "competitive with other smart home solutions on the market today", which is to say it won't be especially cheap. The first markets to see both C Spire Fiber and eventually C Spire Home are the cities of Quitman, Ridgeland, and Starkville, Mississippi (combined population: 50,000), though even then it's only in "qualified areas for related service through pre-registration", a system for determining deployments not unlike Google Fiber's neighborhood sign-up.
C Spire Home is just the latest attempt by an internet service provider to set up homes with full security and automation solutions. Both Verizon and AT&T — much larger fiber competitors than C Spire — offer similar services, and there are dozens of start-ups attempting the same. But are offerings like this something that truly interest you, or would you rather not one company be responsible for so much of your home's technology?