Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Presley Kicks Off Series of County Task Force Meetings to Address Cellular Telephone and High-Speed Internet Service Crisis

Next week, Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley will kick off a series of public meetings across North Mississippi to engage citizen task forces to highlight the lack of cellular telephone service and high-speed internet service in each county. Over 250 residents across North Mississippi have already volunteered to serve on the task forces, which will meet periodically to gather information, assist the Commission in identifying problem areas and collaborate with leaders on a solution, among other activities. Task force meetings will continue throughout the remainder of the year and into 2019.

Presley will also ask the tasks force members to assist the Public Service Commission in documenting the lack of cellular telephone service and data service by using a free smartphone app approved by the Federal Communications Commission. Currently, the FCC shows that Mississippi has adequate cellular telephone service and data service in almost every county. Because of this wrong information, Mississippi is in danger of losing millions in federal funding for cellular telephone towers in rural areas. To preserve the funding, the Mississippi Public Service Commission is issuing a formal challenge to the FCC"s maps field tests by PSC employees and task force members will assist in documenting the lack of service.

“Rural Mississippi has an infrastructure crisis in the lack of cellular telephone service and high-speed internet service. Mississippians are sick and tired of paying for a service that doesn't work or being told that providers have no intention of serving their areas. That is unacceptable to me and through the help of these citizen task forces, we are going to highlight this problem and demand answers," Presley said. "The information gathered that we will use to prove that the FCC's maps for funding are wrong will be due soon, so we have a lot of work to do in a very short time. That is why citizen volunteers are so very important."

Presley continued, “While we have had many volunteers, we always welcome more. These meetings are open to the public and all are welcome to attend.”

The first series of task force meetings are as follows:

  • Lafayette County Task Force
Monday, August 6, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.
Lafayette County Chancery Building, Courtroom 1
300North Lamar, Oxford, MS

  • Lee County Task Force
Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.
Lee County Justice Center
200 West Jefferson, Tupelo, MS

  • Itawamba County Task Force
Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Itawamba County Courthouse
201 West Main Street, Fulton, MS

  • Pontotoc County Task Force
Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.
Chancery Clerk Building
34 South Liberty Street, Pontotoc, MS

  • Union County Task Force
Thursday, August 92018 at 7:00 p.m.
Union County Courthouse
114 East Bankhead Street, New Albany, MS

  • Prentiss County Task Force
Monday, August 13, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.
Prentiss County Courthouse
101 North Main Street, Booneville, MS

  • Alcorn County Task Force
Monday, August 20, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.
Alcorn County Courthouse
600 East Waldron Street, Corinth, MS

  • Tishomingo County Task Force
Monday, August 20, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Tishomingo County Courthouse, Upstairs Courtroom
1008 Battleground Drive, Iuka, MS


If you would like to be a member of a county task force please contact Commissioner Presley’s office at 800-637-7722 or email northern.district@psc.state.ms.us.