rural internet

TVEPA Board President Will Hays II, signs the first fiber-optic cable spool received as part of the electric cooperative’s deployment of fiber to the home in rural areas.

Only 224 days after the Mississippi Legislature passed the Broadband Enabling Act, Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association has accepted the first delivery of fiber-optic cable and is set to begin installation of high-speed fiber.

This milestone occurs barely one month after TVEPA became the first Mississippi rural cooperative to announce creation of a separate, private not-for profit company to offer high-speed internet. Tallahatchie Valley Internet Services, with the trade name TVI-Fiber, was formed to provide fiber to homes and gigabit speeds across the utility’s nine-county area.

“TVEPA has received our initial order of fiber and is ready to begin phased construction build out to provide accessible, reliable high-speed internet to our members,” said Brad Robison, TVEPA chief executive officer. “Our rollout will occur in stages over the next 48 months. We are excited about the possibilities and opportunities broadband brings for economic development, education and entertainment for the communities we serve.”

TVEPA Board members joined Robison and TVEPA employees to celebrate and commemorate the historic first step to offer rural broadband. “Each electric cooperative across the state is different. Each one will evaluate their own coverage area and circumstances to decide what is best for their membership,” said Robison.

TVI-Fiber will be the broadband service provider, offering service packages and equipment along with FTTH installation and 24/7 customer service. TVI-Fiber will soon offer capability for online enrollment and service installation. Members will be able to follow progress, sign up for updates and in time, order service and set up installation via a new website, currently under construction.

“TVEPA members will have the choice if they want to subscribe to high-speed internet, regardless of their rural location,” said Robison. “This diversification of services will not impact their electric bill whatsoever but will provide them a high-speed internet option.

“Our goal is to provide superior service and product at competitive prices for every member that desires access to gigabit speeds.”

Dixie Electric, which serves much of Jones County, conducted surveys of customers in July as part of a feasibility study to decide if it would offer high-speed internet to areas it serves.

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