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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: 14790

Reported Deaths: 710
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds95924
Lauderdale71358
Madison69422
Scott63010
Neshoba58937
Jones56622
Forrest52338
DeSoto5036
Leake40012
Rankin3856
Holmes38524
Jackson30313
Copiah2904
Attala28415
Newton2564
Monroe25225
Leflore25130
Lincoln25024
Harrison2477
Lamar2315
Yazoo2274
Pearl River20631
Pike20311
Adams19015
Lowndes1899
Noxubee1736
Washington1667
Warren1597
Bolivar15411
Wayne1540
Oktibbeha15411
Jasper1524
Smith14511
Covington1431
Clarke13818
Kemper13611
Chickasaw13012
Lafayette1274
Lee1245
Carroll11511
Coahoma1144
Marion1149
Clay1084
Winston1051
Lawrence1021
Simpson950
Hancock8711
Wilkinson859
Yalobusha855
Grenada853
Itawamba847
Montgomery811
Union805
Sunflower783
Jefferson Davis772
Marshall773
Tate741
Tippah7111
Claiborne692
Panola643
Calhoun634
Webster611
Humphreys587
Amite561
Tunica533
Walthall520
Perry503
Prentiss423
Jefferson400
Choctaw342
Stone300
Pontotoc293
Tishomingo280
Franklin282
Tallahatchie261
Quitman250
George211
Benton150
Alcorn141
Greene91
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16823

Reported Deaths: 605
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2124112
Jefferson1712100
Montgomery154134
Tuscaloosa67813
Marshall6689
Lee53332
Franklin5147
Shelby48419
Tallapoosa41864
Butler39213
Chambers34924
Madison3184
Elmore3137
Walker2991
Baldwin2819
Etowah24411
Dallas2443
DeKalb2413
Morgan2311
Coffee2241
Lowndes22210
Sumter2136
Autauga2053
Houston1884
Bullock1833
Pike1790
Colbert1612
Russell1590
Marengo1556
Lauderdale1532
Calhoun1523
Hale1517
Choctaw1488
Wilcox1347
Barbour1321
Clarke1292
Randolph1257
Marion11911
St. Clair1161
Pickens1014
Talladega1003
Dale990
Chilton971
Cullman960
Greene924
Limestone870
Winston820
Covington771
Jackson752
Crenshaw722
Bibb711
Henry712
Macon712
Washington666
Blount581
Escambia493
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Conecuh351
Coosa351
Monroe352
Perry350
Cherokee342
Clay272
Lamar210
Fayette130
Cleburne131
Unassigned00
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