Commissioner Brandon Presley announced Thursday that Mississippi legislators passed the Mississippi Electric Cooperatives Broadband COVID-19 Act. This legislation will establish a $75 million grant program for the immediate deployment of fiber broadband infrastructure in unserved areas.
The global pandemic highlighted areas without high-speed internet service across Mississippi. This legislation will allow underserved areas the opportunity to receive much needed services. The applications for an electric cooperative to receive these funds are due by July 17, 2020 and funds should be expended by the end of the year. The bill also requires internet service providers to provide minimum upload and download speeds of 100 mbps (megabits per second)
“This grant program will ensure that these dollars deliver the very best seeds to the people in the areas of the state that lack broadband the most. The work of Lieutenant Governor Hosemann, Speaker Gunn, Senator Carter, and Representative Bounds have created a path for real investments in rural broadband that will get the job done. I couldn’t be more excited to see this major piece of legislation pass. Now, it’s time to get to work,” said Commissioner Brandon Presley.