(Information provided by the Office of Commissioner Brandon Presley, Northern District – Mississippi Public Service Commission)
Today marks the one-year anniversary of House Bill 366, also referred to as the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act being signed into law.
The Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act made it possible for electric power cooperatives across the state to offer high-speed internet service to its customers. On January 30, 2019, Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill into law. The bill originally passed 115 to 3 in the House of Representatives and unanimously in the Senate.
In one short year, eight electric cooperatives have created broadband services guaranteeing high-speed internet access to their member-owners. These eight cooperatives are: Alcorn County Electric, Monroe County Electric, North East Mississippi Electric, Prentiss County Electric, Tallahatchie Valley Electric, Tippah County Electric, Tishomingo County Electric, and Tombigbee Electric.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the Broadband Enabling Act has changed and will continue to change the future quality of life of our citizens. No longer will many rural Mississippians have to wait for the big telecom companies to come and serve them. With our electric cooperatives bringing high-speed internet to many areas our state, it will also mean economic development, provide education opportunities, make telehealth more accessible, and so much more for generations to come,” said Commissioner Brandon Presley. “I commend the eight electric cooperatives who have taken the next steps and agreed to serve their member-owners with world-class internet service and I look forward to even more announcements this year. We cannot stop until the house at the end of every dirt road in our state has access to high-speed internet service.”
“This law would not have been possible without the leadership of Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn, now-Governor Tate Reeves, and now-former Governor Phil Bryant,” Presley continued. “Their actions are a testament to collaboration and cooperation and, without them, it would not have been possible to take this from the idea-stage to passage by the legislature to signing it into law.”
For more information on the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act or to find out if your cooperative is looking into expanding services into broadband, please contact Commissioner Presley’s office at 1-800-637-7722.
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