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Monroe Electric hosts broadband meeting

Monroe County Electric Power Association is looking into bringing broadband internet to its customers.

Posted: Aug 21, 2019 1:09 AM
Updated: Aug 21, 2019 9:35 AM

BECKER, Miss. (WTVA) - The Monroe County Electric Power Association and the Public Service Commission held a meeting to talk to the public about the possibility of broadband internet coming to Monroe County.

State lawmakers approved legislation earlier this year to give electric cooperatives the ability to offer broadband internet.

Hundreds of people went to the Becker community center on Tuesday to hear from the two entities. 

Local leaders proposed a resolution to the board of directors.

"To create an advisory committee of 11 members of the co-op to start, to start a second feasibility study and to amend the charter," said Gerald Weathers, the founder of Monroe County Citizens for Broadband, a 2,500-member Facebook group.

The board said "no" because they did not want to deal with an advisory committee, according to Monroe Electric General Manager Barry Rowland.

"It makes me sick, there were probably 500 people here that are members and own the Monroe County Electric cooperative. They asked for three simple things," Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley said.

Rowland said they are not giving up on broadband internet but are focusing on the second feasibility survey of the area.

"They want to do surveys, and they want to go to cooperatives, maybe in other states, to see how it's working, to see what the do's and don't's are,” Rowland said.

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