PSC releases broadband funds
East Mississippi Electric Power Association is excited to announce that its ﬁber broadband subsidiary, East Mississippi Connect, was awarded Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) status by the Mississippi Public Service Commission.
Public Service Commissioners Brandon Presley, Brent Bailey and Dane Maxwell ofﬁcially signed the order last week, releasing $38.6 million from Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) to East MS Connect. East MS Connect will use these funds to guarantee that broadband internet access is made available to rural homes and businesses that are currently unserved or underserved, including Kemper County.
The company is currently installing the fiber optic cable in Kemper County to bring high speed Internet to its rural customers.
For more than 80 years, EMEPA has provided reliable electric service to the region. But beginning last fall, the company expanded its services to offer broadband internet under the subsidiary East MS Connect.
“The last year has been very difﬁcult for all our members and brought new and unprecedented challenges. Teleworking, telehealth services and remote learning are now essential. With the Commission granting East MS Connect ETC status, we can seek additional funding to offer high-speed broadband access to unserved communities that are in dire need of these services. It is all part of our commitment to empowering lives,” said EMEPA CEO Randy Carroll.
East MS Connect is the only provider in the region offering a state-of-the-art, utility-grade ﬁber network for its
members. Thanks to a $6 million CARES Act grant, the initial buildout of this $113 million project spanning EMEPA’s entire service area is well underway.
For more information about East MS Connect, visit EastMSConnect.com.