4-County reaches two year milestone providing FASTnet service
GOLDEN TRIANGLE (WCBI) – For over 80 years, 4-County Electric Power Association has been empowering the lives of people in Northeast Mississippi.
Fast forward eight decades and they continue to provide quality service, electricity, and as of two years ago, internet service.
Two years ago, 4-County realized the need that rural Mississippians had for affordable and quality internet service.
After a lot of research and praying, they began construction for FASTnet in October 2020.
Less than six months later, they hooked up their very first customers in Clay county.
CEO Brian Clark said the journey of being an electric company that provides internet service.
“Fast forward two years later we have roughly 8,500 customers. We will hit 10,000 in a couple of months I think and we are growing fast. You know, looking back we were praying to God to open and shut doors along our path and he did that, and no better time to get into this than the pandemic,” said Clark.
With a Broadband future ahead, 4-County saw that this was the time to be proactive.
A time to teach people what it means to be connected.
“We are their trusted energy provider and are trying to bring that same mindset to the internet side. We want people not just to use or buy our product because we need them to buy it for it to work but we want this to be a positive experience,” said Turner.
Maps show FASTnet’s growth over the last two years. Each dot on the map represents a new customer.
That first little dot was the first FASTnet customers, Roy and Mary Shannon.
“We were excited about it because we were not happy at all with the service that we had and out in this area it’s very limited on what you can get anyway so we were excited about it and signed up either way, ” said Mary Shannon.
The Shannons agree that while the quality of FASTnet is amazing, 4-County’s staff is what makes their service even better.
“They’re good people to work with and good people to do business with and we are thoroughly satisfied,” said Roy Shannon.
For those like Harold Critcher, seeing the difference they make is what keeps him going.
“Just to get the smiles when you go out there to the camp house or out in the woods somewhere and they’ve got better internet or somewhere just as good downtown Starkville or Columbus. Yeah, that’s what we’re all about, ” said Critcher.
Right now, the FASTnet progress is ahead of schedule.
4-County plans to provide internet to all of its service areas by 2024.