Monroe County Electric to begin building internet network this year

The power association in Monroe County is expected to start providing internet service to customers by early 2021.

Posted: Apr 7, 2020 9:54 AM
Updated: Apr 7, 2020 12:33 PM

BECKER, Miss. (WTVA) - Some customers of the Monroe County Electric Power Association (MCEPA) are expected to have high-speed internet by early 2021.

The MCEPA announced Tuesday morning it has teamed up with Conexon to launch its internet network. Conexon helps electric cooperatives install broadband networks.

MCEPA will start building the network toward the end of 2020. The first customers are expected to be connected by early 2021.

According to Conexon, the four-year build-out plan will span 1,500 miles of fiber, will serve 100 percent of MCEPA’s 10,800 customers and is expected to cost approximately $29 million.

In early 2019, Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 366 giving the state’s electric cooperatives the legal authority to offer high-speed internet service.

RelatedNew Mississippi law lets electric co-ops offer internet

Read Conexon's full news release below.

Conexon, the nation’s leader in assisting electric cooperatives to deploy broadband networks, has been selected by Mississippi-based Monroe County Electric Power Association (MCEPA) to deliver comprehensive broadband management services including network design and engineering, construction management, and customer support for the association’s fiber-to-the-home network.

Monroe County EPA will begin construction on the network by 4Q 2020, with the first customers expected to be connected by early 2021. The four-year build-out will span 1,500 miles of fiber, serve 100% of the power association’s 10,800 members and is anticipated to cost in the range of $29 million.

“Monroe County EPA board of director member Tom Crook once told me about his grandfather's role in establishing Monroe County EPA, which was the first REA (now RUS) electric co-op in the country,” Conexon Partner Jonathan Chambers said. “There's a wonderful continuity with the board's decision to build a fiber-optic network. Monroe County EPA has sustained the community with electricity for over eighty years. It will now bring that same commitment to service and provide both electricity and broadband to the community for the next 80 years.

“I appreciate the trust Barry and the board have placed in Conexon. We take that trust seriously and look forward to a great success."
Monroe County EPA has formed a broadband subsidiary M-Pulse Fiber, through which members will have access to a state-of-the-art network that will deliver symmetrical gigabit internet capabiities – among the fastest and robust in the nation. The all-fiber network will also enable enhancements and smart grid capabilities to the electrical infrastructure such as improved power outage response times, better load balancing, and more efficient electricity delivery.

“We are excited about the opportunity of bringing world-class broadband services to our membership,” Barry Rowland, Monroe County EPA General Manager said. “It’s important for us to offer the best service possible for our members and that’s a goal Conexon shares. From the first meeting, we immediately felt comfortable with the depth of their experience and expertise and ability to help us successfully deliver this.”

“We congratulate Monroe County EPA for taking this bold step to deliver a fiber network with world-class broadband to its members,” Conexon Partner Randy Klindt added. “It’s very gratifying for us to team with co-ops like this one to pave the way for community and economic growth, education advantages and all of the other benefits that reliable broadband brings.”

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113876

Reported Deaths: 3238
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7850176
DeSoto685779
Harrison505083
Jackson445084
Rankin388186
Madison377993
Lee350779
Forrest299578
Jones287784
Washington255199
Lafayette245943
Lauderdale2418134
Lamar221238
Bolivar200177
Oktibbeha199354
Neshoba1831111
Lowndes176362
Panola169038
Leflore165187
Sunflower159749
Warren153655
Monroe147372
Pontotoc145819
Marshall139227
Lincoln138557
Pike137756
Copiah136236
Coahoma124736
Scott124729
Grenada121138
Yazoo120733
Simpson120449
Union116525
Tate114939
Leake114340
Holmes114160
Pearl River112259
Itawamba112125
Adams106743
Prentiss103719
Wayne99821
Alcorn98112
George97718
Covington95326
Marion93542
Tippah88121
Newton85227
Chickasaw83626
Tallahatchie83025
Winston82821
Tishomingo80041
Hancock79827
Attala78926
Clarke73450
Clay68321
Jasper67717
Walthall63627
Calhoun61912
Noxubee59617
Smith58916
Montgomery53523
Claiborne53316
Tunica52817
Yalobusha51914
Lawrence50714
Perry48623
Carroll47612
Greene46918
Stone46214
Humphreys42616
Amite42113
Quitman4196
Jefferson Davis40011
Webster37013
Wilkinson33520
Benton3255
Kemper32015
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27410
Franklin2373
Choctaw2046
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22861374
Mobile14468314
Tuscaloosa10148139
Montgomery9875196
Madison915094
Shelby720462
Lee649665
Baldwin647569
Marshall433049
Calhoun418960
Etowah418749
Morgan403635
Houston369232
DeKalb330229
Elmore314852
St. Clair287142
Limestone276530
Walker272293
Talladega261035
Cullman235724
Lauderdale214841
Jackson210015
Autauga202330
Franklin202131
Colbert196731
Russell19233
Blount189325
Dallas186227
Chilton184132
Escambia171929
Coffee171710
Covington169929
Dale165451
Chambers133643
Pike132313
Tallapoosa130587
Clarke130017
Marion106229
Butler100140
Barbour9979
Marengo99222
Winston91313
Geneva8527
Pickens82417
Lawrence82131
Randolph81216
Bibb81114
Hale74930
Clay72912
Cherokee72614
Lowndes70328
Monroe64010
Henry6396
Bullock63717
Washington63412
Crenshaw60230
Perry5836
Wilcox56212
Fayette56113
Conecuh55713
Cleburne5438
Macon52920
Sumter47021
Lamar4665
Choctaw38812
Greene34216
Coosa2023
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