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4-County Electric looking at offering broadband internet

The area's largest electric power association does not have a timetable on deciding whether to offer broadband internet to its customers, but 4-County Electric Power Association is looking into providing the service.

Posted: Feb 29, 2020 7:07 AM

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WTVA) — The area's largest electric power association does not have a timetable on deciding whether to offer broadband internet to its customers, but 4-County Electric Power Association is looking into providing the service.

The non-profit utility said in a news release it conducted three feasibility studies and will soon meet with the consultants behind those studies.

"It’s a chance to make sure all our assumptions are what they need to be, that the details are correct so we are looking at as realistic a model as is possible,” said 4-County chief executive officer and general manager Brian Clark.

According to Clark, his EPA could spend more than $110 million to offer internet service, which would be its most expensive project in its more than 80 year history. 

And that cost is a concern.

“Despite what some folks would say, this project is not a guaranteed success," added Clark. "It is very important that we do everything we can to make sure that if we move forward, we put as little risk on 4-County and our members as is possible."

Clark did indicate the project would be more favorable for 4-County if it could get the federal government to cover 10 to 15 percent of the cost. 

The EPA plans to pursue that cash for rural broadband being offered by the Federal Communications Commission in an October auction.

Clark also did not rule out 4-County entering a partnership with an existing internet provider.

4-County's most recent comments on broadband internet is of interest since other local EPAs have already agreed to get into the internet business.

That move was triggered by a change in state law and encouraged by Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley.

For example, Lee County-based Tombigbee Electric is already building its broadband network and is heavily promoting the project to its members.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115763

Reported Deaths: 3263
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7987178
DeSoto713479
Harrison527284
Jackson462285
Rankin398286
Madison383794
Lee360080
Forrest306978
Jones295784
Washington259299
Lafayette251343
Lauderdale2485135
Lamar227138
Oktibbeha202854
Bolivar201977
Neshoba1854111
Lowndes180262
Panola170240
Leflore168787
Sunflower163449
Warren155156
Monroe152173
Pontotoc147920
Marshall145329
Lincoln141157
Pike139256
Copiah138136
Scott125729
Coahoma125437
Grenada122639
Yazoo122634
Simpson121749
Union119225
Tate117739
Leake115242
Holmes114960
Itawamba114825
Pearl River114560
Adams108944
Prentiss106920
Wayne102022
Alcorn101112
George99919
Covington97927
Marion95443
Tippah91323
Newton86927
Chickasaw85726
Hancock85028
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84421
Tishomingo81641
Attala79726
Clarke76151
Clay70021
Jasper69117
Walthall64027
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59917
Smith59616
Montgomery55223
Yalobusha54914
Claiborne53816
Tunica53517
Lawrence52514
Perry49823
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47714
Humphreys44916
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41211
Webster37613
Benton3456
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32715
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27710
Franklin2463
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 159439

Reported Deaths: 2699
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23443377
Mobile16934315
Tuscaloosa10414140
Montgomery10298197
Madison939496
Shelby743663
Baldwin669469
Lee655065
Calhoun462161
Marshall441150
Etowah431251
Morgan418235
Houston418034
DeKalb346129
Elmore322753
St. Clair299942
Limestone289330
Walker282392
Talladega267435
Cullman250824
Lauderdale231342
Jackson217515
Autauga207431
Franklin206131
Colbert204132
Russell19533
Blount194225
Chilton189332
Dallas187227
Coffee179511
Dale177251
Covington175529
Escambia173030
Clarke135317
Chambers135244
Pike134413
Tallapoosa133087
Marion109729
Barbour10339
Marengo102522
Butler101340
Winston93713
Geneva9167
Lawrence86132
Pickens86018
Bibb84314
Randolph82916
Hale77730
Clay74912
Washington74912
Cherokee74514
Henry7196
Lowndes71428
Bullock64917
Monroe64810
Crenshaw60930
Perry5936
Fayette58413
Cleburne5738
Wilcox57012
Conecuh56113
Macon53720
Lamar5065
Sumter47321
Choctaw39212
Greene34616
Coosa2053
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