TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Thousands of people throughout north Mississippi will soon have access to high-speed internet service.
This is possible thanks to $91.2 million in grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to nine local power providers.
"It’s a great idea because everybody has to have internet for their children when they have to go virtual at school,” Cassandra Lyons of Amory said.
Ashley Umbers of Becker agreed, “Our kids have experienced a lot of virtual this past school year. And my child was one that couldn't participate in the virtual program because of lack of Wi-Fi. It’s great; I'm so proud of Monroe County."
The money will be split among the nine power companies. The recipients will receive the money over a 10-year period.
- Ace Fiber (Alcorn County Electric)
- M-Pulse Fiber (Monroe County Electric)
- NT Spark (Natchez Trace Electric)
- NE SPARC (North East Mississippi Electric)
- Prentiss Connect (Prentiss County Electric)
- TVI Fiber (Tallahatchie Valley Electric)
- TEPA Connect (Tippah Electric)
- Tombigbee Fiber (Tombigbee Electric)
- Tishomingo Connect (Tishomingo County Electric)
"This is an investment in broadband access which is an investment in the future for our workers, for our children, for economic development and the quality of life here in north Mississippi," Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley of Nettleton said.
The money comes from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and will eventually help over 42,000 homes and businesses receive Wi-Fi across the area.
Monday's ceremony took place on Robins Field in Tupelo — the same place that President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Tupelo the first Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) city.