Calhoun company gets grant to connect customers with high speed internet

Grant is part of an effort by the U.S. government to close the digital divide

CALHOUN COUNTY, MISS. (WCBI) – As general manager of Bruce Telephone Company, Jay Vanlandingham knows the importance of making the latest technology available to customers.  Last spring, BTC was given the go ahead to offer high speed internet service.  But building the infrastructure for broadband service can be costly.

A government grant will help offset much of that cost.

“It’s a game changer in many ways, for us it gives us the opportunity to offer our customers state of the art technology, and for the end user it gives them an opportunity to do a lot of things they’ve never been able to do,” Vanlandingham said.

Customers will be able to have multiple streaming services at one time, faster uploads and downloads.   It will also be a boost for business customers.  The grant is from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to expand broadband infrastructure in Mississippi.

The grant will help cover the cost of replacing copper cable with fiber optic cable, which is much faster.

Vanlandingham says contractors will be hired to build out the final phase of the project, which will make high speed fiber available to all of BTC’s customers.

“There’s been a lot of time, many manpower hours put into this.  Bruce Telephone Company has a well-known past of being first in providing technology, to our community, that’s something we pride ourselves on,” he said.

When the project is complete, high speed fiber internet will be available to 800 to one thousand homes and businesses.

Vanlandingham says it’s too early to put a timeline on the project since a lot of details still have to be worked out.

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