Rural Mississippians are racing to get high-speed internet

More than 100-thousand subscribers

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- The race to get high-speed internet to rural areas in Mississippi has reached an exciting milestone.

More than 100,000 subscribers in rural areas now have access to the internet.

For decades, rural areas have had the need for speed on the world wide web, and with the help of electric cooperatives such as 4-County, people can engage in cyberspace.

Today, WCBI talked to a man who has been on the front line fighting to get high-speed internet to rural Mississippi.

Parts of Mississippi that did not have access to the internet, now have high-speed access to the world wide web. Rural Mississippi is surpassing the 100,000 subscriber milestone for high-speed Internet. And according to the 4-County/FASTnet CEO Brian Clark, the number of subscribers continues to grow daily.

“4-county has roughly 7,500 members who are actively buying broadband from FASTnet and it grows. We are beating records every month, we beat our record last month for the number of installs and we are coming. If you are a 4-county member and you want it just hang on we are going to be there,” Clark said.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought the digital divide front and when children had to move their learning online. And Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley sees that the internet is.

“I saw personally a family sitting in the parking lot of McDonald’s and local libraries where their children trying to do homework,” Presley said.

In addition, more studies are proving that the internet helps overall quality of life as more patients and doctors are relying on telehealth appointments.

“Taxes payers save over 1 million dollars in Medicaid costs for pay transportation services, and it also cuts down on the pressure at the local emergency rooms,” Presley said.

And as the number of subscribers continues to grow daily CEO of 4-County Brian Clark sees that the internet is helping rural communities to grow.

“We have a beautiful, beautiful environment here in Mississippi. We’ve actually seen some people moving back to Mississippi to the farms they were raised on because now they have connectivity. Now they have the way of life they are used to in a big city environment. So look, I think we are going to see an influx of people moving back to the country because it’s beautiful out here and a great place to live” Clark said.

FASTnet is now expanding its reach to Lowndes county and if you are interested contact 4-County FASTnet.

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