Monday, August 12, 2019

Presley Announces State’s First Two High-Speed/Broadband Providers Formed by Electric Power Cooperatives Following Passage of “Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act”

Commissioner Likens it to When President Roosevelt Brought Electricity to Rural Mississippi

Tupelo, MS (August 9, 2019) – Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley announced that Boards of Directors of Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association (TV EPA) in Batesville and the Tombigbee Electric Power Association (Tombigbee EPA)in Tupelo have voted and publicly announced that they will form an affiliate company to offer high-speed internet/broadband service to their members and to begin construction on the first phase of construction to offer broadband service to their regions becoming the state’s first two cooperative to begin offering high-speed internet service since the passage of the “Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act” in this year’s legislative session.

“In the last two days, we have begun bridging the digital divide in Mississippi for rural people. I feel as if we are standing at the same point in history as when President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the TVA brought electricity to rural North Mississippi. In the 1930s, Tombigbee and Tallahatchie Electric Power Associations brought the modern technology of that day, electricity, to the rural people who didn’t have it. In these past two days, they are embarking on doing the same for today’s technology, broadband internet service. These actions today will be a turning point in the lives of rural Mississippians and we will look back on this as the turning point in saving rural Mississippi.”

Tombigbee EPA is not affiliated with Tombigbee Electric Cooperative in Alabama, the example many Mississippi EPAs reference when looking to models of power cooperatives offering broadband service.