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FCC: $495 million will aid Mississippi’s effort to expand broadband access

Nearly half-a-billion dollars will fund the expansion of access to high-speed broadband in rural Mississippi. 

As the result of a reverse auction, Mississippi companies and co-ops were allocated over $495.7 million that, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will bring broadband to 218,990 unserved homes and businesses over the next 10 years.

“This historic auction is great news for the residents of so many rural Mississippi communities, who will get access to high-quality broadband service in areas that for too long have been on the wrong side of the digital divide,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “We structured this innovative and groundbreaking auction to prioritize bids for high-speed, low-latency services to deliver the best results for rural Americans, and the results show that this strategy worked.  This auction was the Commission’s single largest step ever taken toward delivering digital opportunity to every American and is another key success in our ongoing commitment to universal service.”

The FCC explained that nearly all locations in Mississippi that were eligible for the auction will be receiving access to broadband with speeds of at least 100/20 Mbps, with an overwhelming majority (82%) getting gigabit-speed broadband.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission and members of Mississippi’s delegation in D.C. worked to speed up the allocation of the FCC’s $20.4 billion ‘Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.’ The auction was part of phase 1—an effort to first serve under-connected areas. 

“I’m very excited about this and what it means for our state,” PSC Chairman Dane Maxwell said. “The issue of high-speed internet is an issue that we have to face head-on during these unique times. I appreciate the leadership of the FCC Commissioners and for the opportunity to work closely with them to bring these funds home to Mississippi.”

According to Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley, the PSC must now approve each winner as an “eligible entity to receive funds.”

“Today’s awarding of $495 million is a direct result of all of us as Mississippians making broadband access a top public priority,” Commissioner Presley said. “Rural communities and small towns deserve the same high-speed internet service as exists in big cities.”

Presley also explained that Mississippi received the second-largest share of the funding, second only to California.

“This first round of funds from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund will make an incredible difference in the state of Mississippi as we work toward connecting every person to reliable high-speed internet,” Senator Roger Wicker said. “There is much more work left to do, but this strong showing for our state’s internet providers is good news. I will continue working to improve internet access for all Mississippians and ensure the next phases of aid are awarded where they are most needed.”

Additionally, the Mississippi Legislature recently allocated $65 million of the state’s CARES Act funding for the similar purpose of connecting more Mississippians to the internet, especially students as remote learning continues in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Following is a list of winning bidders, number of homes and businesses to be served, and total support for 10 years in Mississippi, by county:

County Bidder Locations Support
Adams Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 836 $2,447,244
Adams Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 278 $258,204
Adams, MS Total 1,114 $2,705,448
Alcorn RDOF USA Consortium 3,428 $5,510,502
Alcorn, MS Total 3,428 $5,510,502
Amite Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 3,619 $10,610,862
Amite Segnem Egere Consortium 1,118 $2,784,174
Amite Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 108 $31,170
Amite, MS Total 4,845 $13,426,206
Attala Connect Everyone LLC 2,688 $12,154,964
Attala Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 1,158 $2,144,877
Attala, MS Total 3,846 $14,299,841
Benton Prospero Broadband Consortium 1,079 $4,208,016
Benton Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 1,391 $2,153,674
Benton, MS Total 2,470 $6,361,690
Bolivar NexTier Consortium 1,228 $3,794,476
Bolivar Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 914 $3,971,669
Bolivar Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 7 $4,518
Bolivar, MS Total 2,149 $7,770,663
Calhoun Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 149 $299,443
Calhoun, MS Total 149 $299,443
Carroll Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 3,227 $14,459,058
Carroll, MS Total 3,227 $14,459,058
Chickasaw Prospero Broadband Consortium 319 $460,440
Chickasaw Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 2,090 $5,615,298
Chickasaw Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 699 $976,128
Chickasaw, MS Total 3,108 $7,051,866
Choctaw Prospero Broadband Consortium 1,037 $5,342,199
Choctaw, MS Total 1,037 $5,342,199
Claiborne Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 752 $2,421,948
Claiborne Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 14 $2,844
Claiborne, MS Total 766 $2,424,792
Clarke Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 3,464 $10,575,750
Clarke Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 56 $58,652
Clarke, MS Total 3,520 $10,634,402
Clay Prospero Broadband Consortium 2,950 $8,162,253
Clay Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 2 $1,828
Clay, MS Total 2,952 $8,164,081
Coahoma NexTier Consortium 1,839 $4,790,118
Coahoma Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 78 $23,166
Coahoma Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession 244 $1,211,946
Coahoma, MS Total 2,161 $6,025,230
Copiah Bay Springs Telephone Company, Inc. 1,807 $3,644,857
Copiah Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 966 $3,072,342
Copiah Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 830 $864,994
Copiah Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession 1,110 $2,185,588
Copiah, MS Total 4,713 $9,767,781
Covington Bay Springs Telephone Company, Inc. 2,243 $2,812,547
Covington NRTC Phase I RDOF Consortium 521 $690,804
Covington Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 1,271 $909,104
Covington Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession 911 $1,748,966
Covington, MS Total 4,946 $6,161,421
DeSoto Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 663 $777,872
DeSoto, MS Total 663 $777,872
Forrest NRTC Phase I RDOF Consortium 758 $774,240
Forrest Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 1,343 $2,729,634
Forrest Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 545 $410,253
Forrest Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession 4 $7,164
Forrest, MS Total 2,650 $3,921,291
Franklin Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 421 $1,821,426
Franklin, MS Total 421 $1,821,426
George Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 1,270 $1,261,857
George, MS Total 1,270 $1,261,857
Greene Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 527 $918,611
Greene, MS Total 527 $918,611
Grenada RDOF USA Consortium 167 $276,732
Grenada Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 970 $2,982,780
Grenada Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 138 $156,788
Grenada, MS Total 1,275 $3,416,300
Hancock Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 2,121 $2,151,492
Hancock Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 37 $18,764
Hancock, MS Total 2,158 $2,170,256
Harrison Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 782 $1,769,748
Harrison Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 571 $1,140,645
Harrison, MS Total 1,353 $2,910,393
Hinds Connect Everyone LLC 157 $649,560
Hinds Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 3,246 $3,450,020
Hinds Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession 230 $643,573
Hinds, MS Total 3,633 $4,743,153
Holmes Connect Everyone LLC 377 $1,763,277
Holmes Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 2,419 $8,890,568
Holmes Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 56 $29,524
Holmes, MS Total 2,852 $10,683,369
Humphreys NexTier Consortium 1,317 $6,497,851
Humphreys, MS Total 1,317 $6,497,851
Issaquena NexTier Consortium 402 $2,449,680
Issaquena, MS Total 402 $2,449,680
Itawamba NRTC Phase I RDOF Consortium 183 $327,000
Itawamba Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 1,070 $1,490,892
Itawamba, MS Total 1,253 $1,817,892
Jackson Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 1,231 $1,446,681
Jackson, MS Total 1,231 $1,446,681
Jasper Bay Springs Telephone Company, Inc. 179 $250,076
Jasper Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 389 $341,197
Jasper, MS Total 568 $591,273
Jefferson Davis Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 483 $1,407,938
Jefferson Davis Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession 1,161 $2,826,916
Jefferson Davis, MS Total 1,644 $4,234,854
Jefferson Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 1,507 $6,846,594
Jefferson, MS Total 1,507 $6,846,594
Jones NRTC Phase I RDOF Consortium 3,588 $5,445,319
Jones Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 148 $160,052
Jones Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession 6 $37,038
Jones, MS Total 3,742 $5,642,409
Kemper Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 3,822 $15,606,558
Kemper, MS Total 3,822 $15,606,558
Lafayette RDOF USA Consortium 413 $465,762
Lafayette Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 2,192 $6,498,042
Lafayette Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 4 $1,724
Lafayette, MS Total 2,609 $6,965,528
Lamar Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 3,534 $4,433,049
Lamar Segnem Egere Consortium 193 $459,684
Lamar Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 104 $48,126
Lamar Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession 203 $250,033
Lamar, MS Total 4,034 $5,190,892
Lauderdale Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 3,095 $6,465,948
Lauderdale Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 59 $66,964
Lauderdale, MS Total 3,154 $6,532,912
Lawrence Bay Springs Telephone Company, Inc. 1,938 $3,380,173
Lawrence Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 424 $774,786
Lawrence Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession 779 $1,904,987
Lawrence, MS Total 3,141 $6,059,946
Leake Commnet Wireless, LLC 655 $477,116
Leake Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 3,556 $4,341,008
Leake, MS Total 4,211 $4,818,124
Lee RDOF USA Consortium 15 $13,566
Lee Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 3,180 $3,627,948
Lee Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 40 $28,056
Lee, MS Total 3,235 $3,669,570
Leflore Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 1,105 $7,179,102
Leflore Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 65 $38,406
Leflore, MS Total 1,170 $7,217,508
Lincoln Bay Springs Telephone Company, Inc. 600 $1,454,832
Lincoln Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 4,096 $6,902,400
Lincoln Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 142 $105,906
Lincoln Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession 238 $314,398
Lincoln, MS Total 5,076 $8,777,535
Lowndes Prospero Broadband Consortium 1,210 $2,727,756
Lowndes Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 784 $975,312
Lowndes Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 42 $41,766
Lowndes, MS Total 2,036 $3,744,834
Madison Connect Everyone LLC 140 $579,225
Madison Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 1,706 $2,795,172
Madison, MS Total 1,846 $3,374,397
Marion Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 6,506 $8,798,650
Marion Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 110 $40,730
Marion Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession 54 $47,675
Marion, MS Total 6,670 $8,887,055
Marshall Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 858 $2,020,722
Marshall Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 2,725 $2,049,929
Marshall, MS Total 3,583 $4,070,651
Monroe Prospero Broadband Consortium 688 $1,809,507
Monroe Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 3,099 $7,217,586
Monroe Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 1,202 $1,143,669
Monroe, MS Total 4,989 $10,170,762
Montgomery Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 1,096 $5,269,038
Montgomery Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 10 $10,279
Montgomery, MS Total 1,106 $5,279,317
Neshoba Commnet Wireless, LLC 466 $430,284
Neshoba Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 4,357 $5,934,691
Neshoba, MS Total 4,823 $6,364,975
Newton Bay Springs Telephone Company, Inc. 2,822 $6,825,666
Newton Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 977 $1,326,278
Newton, MS Total 3,799 $8,151,944
Noxubee Prospero Broadband Consortium 2,545 $12,058,596
Noxubee, MS Total 2,545 $12,058,596
Oktibbeha Prospero Broadband Consortium 2,510 $4,932,780
Oktibbeha Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 39 $50,657
Oktibbeha, MS Total 2,549 $4,983,436
Panola RDOF USA Consortium 3,266 $7,195,530
Panola Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 77 $79,202
Panola, MS Total 3,343 $7,274,732
Pearl River Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 4,277 $5,920,312
Pearl River Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 167 $48,495
Pearl River, MS Total 4,444 $5,968,807
Perry NRTC Phase I RDOF Consortium 869 $2,065,944
Perry Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 1,456 $1,822,774
Perry, MS Total 2,325 $3,888,718
Pike Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 4,174 $6,075,996
Pike Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 404 $166,626
Pike, MS Total 4,578 $6,242,622
Pontotoc ACT 925 $1,622,136
Pontotoc Commnet Wireless, LLC 222 $111,688
Pontotoc Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 2,769 $5,000,970
Pontotoc Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 1,687 $1,136,040
Pontotoc, MS Total 5,603 $7,870,834
Prentiss NRTC Phase I RDOF Consortium 353 $694,062
Prentiss RDOF USA Consortium 3,203 $6,789,585
Prentiss Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 147 $240,366
Prentiss Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 1 $380
Prentiss, MS Total 3,704 $7,724,393
Quitman NexTier Consortium 747 $4,172,522
Quitman RDOF USA Consortium 392 $406,212
Quitman Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 131 $88,821
Quitman, MS Total 1,270 $4,667,555
Rankin Bay Springs Telephone Company, Inc. 606 $1,325,658
Rankin Connect Everyone LLC 308 $1,274,296
Rankin Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 246 $281,611
Rankin Windstream Services LLC, Debtor-In-Possession 793 $1,460,397
Rankin, MS Total 1,953 $4,341,962
Scott Bay Springs Telephone Company, Inc. 3,013 $5,500,266
Scott Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 2,439 $2,324,312
Scott, MS Total 5,452 $7,824,578
Sharkey NexTier Consortium 560 $2,632,338
Sharkey, MS Total 560 $2,632,338
Simpson Bay Springs Telephone Company, Inc. 5,253 $9,811,121
Simpson, MS Total 5,253 $9,811,121
Smith Bay Springs Telephone Company, Inc. 2,600 $6,260,125
Smith, MS Total 2,600 $6,260,125
Stone Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 1,954 $5,641,848
Stone Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 41 $31,982
Stone, MS Total 1,995 $5,673,830
Sunflower NexTier Consortium 219 $1,108,916
Sunflower Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 1,226 $6,327,360
Sunflower, MS Total 1,445 $7,436,276
Tallahatchie RDOF USA Consortium 1,710 $5,740,707
Tallahatchie Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 406 $1,487,568
Tallahatchie Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 11 $18,186
Tallahatchie, MS Total 2,127 $7,246,461
Tate RDOF USA Consortium 1,062 $1,461,732
Tate Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 724 $564,716
Tate, MS Total 1,786 $2,026,448
Tippah Prospero Broadband Consortium 767 $1,761,978
Tippah Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 284 $312,310
Tippah, MS Total 1,051 $2,074,288
Tishomingo NRTC Phase I RDOF Consortium 4,380 $9,959,700
Tishomingo, MS Total 4,380 $9,959,700
Tunica NexTier Consortium 1,128 $5,366,252
Tunica Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 1 $4,596
Tunica, MS Total 1,129 $5,370,848
Union Prospero Broadband Consortium 317 $796,356
Union Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 2,337 $3,691,440
Union Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 760 $601,822
Union, MS Total 3,414 $5,089,618
Walthall Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 5,447 $8,949,708
Walthall, MS Total 5,447 $8,949,708
Warren Connect Everyone LLC 260 $1,197,848
Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 85 $503,616
Warren Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 316 $514,640
Warren, MS Total 661 $2,216,104
Washington NexTier Consortium 1,266 $6,188,371
Washington Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 33 $115,392
Washington Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 4 $5,244
Washington, MS Total 1,303 $6,309,007
Wayne NRTC Phase I RDOF Consortium 3,570 $12,442,626
Wayne Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 51 $95,756
Wayne, MS Total 3,621 $12,538,382
Webster Prospero Broadband Consortium 911 $91,346
Webster Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 1,207 $4,695,294
Webster, MS Total 2,118 $4,786,640
Wilkinson Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 2,124 $6,669,726
Wilkinson Segnem Egere Consortium 311 $801,312
Wilkinson Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 144 $50,855
Wilkinson, MS Total 2,579 $7,521,893
Winston Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 2,415 $5,952,065
Winston Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 4 $1,364
Winston, MS Total 2,419 $5,953,429
Yalobusha RDOF USA Consortium 1,685 $4,627,302
Yalobusha, MS Total 1,685 $4,627,302
Yazoo Connect Everyone LLC 326 $511,480
Yazoo NexTier Consortium 2,987 $8,169,385
Yazoo Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium 129 $270,588
Yazoo Space Exploration Technologies Corp. 8 $5,704
Yazoo, MS Total 3,450 $8,957,157
TOTAL 218,990 $495,725,800

 

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