Mississippi lawmakers look to learn from Alabama broadband model

In rural areas all across Mississippi, fast internet is a missing feature, and lawmakers are looking to make a change.

Posted: Jun 27, 2018 6:38 PM
Updated: Jun 28, 2018 9:12 AM

HAMILTON, Ala. (WTVA) - In rural areas all across Mississippi, fast internet is a missing feature, and lawmakers are looking to make a change.

On Wednesday, Tombigbee Electric Cooperative was the host of a Broadband Summit where the topic was discussed heavily.

Mississippi lawmakers and public officials gathered in Hamilton to learn from Alabama's model of providing fast internet.

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley says in today's economy, being connected to the internet is a necessity.

In the summit, lawmakers spoke about how laws in Mississippi are prohibiting them from speeding up internet in rural areas. They stressed the daily difficulties that families face, like not being to work from home or being able to communicate effectively - but most importantly taking away from a quality education.

Presley says the law in Mississippi doesn't allow electric cooperatives to sell internet, only electricity. 

"Where we are is one of the most rural electric cooperatives in the State of Alabama, but yet they are delivering some of the fastest internet speeds in America - in rural Alabama, just miles away from Mississippi," Presley stated.

He says a bill will be proposed to allow cooperatives to provide faster and affordable internet in Mississippi.

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