Central District Public Service Commissioner Brent Bailey announced the final approval for federal funds to TecInfo Communications LLC to support the deployment of high-speed internet service to customers across three counties including Bolivar, Sunflower and Washington.
Commissioner Bailey gathered with Greg Hayman, President of TecInfo Communications LLC, for a ceremony Monday to issue the final documents and approval to TecInfo Communications LLC for the release of $11.09 million from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I Auction. TecInfo Communications LLC is now approved as a designated eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) and in time will deploy high-speed internet service to 2,713 rural homes and small businesses who are unserved or underserved.
“Mississippi has won big in awards of federal broadband expansion money and this is a huge step towards our goal to better connect Mississippians at a time when connectivity is more important than ever,” Commissioner Bailey said. “I am excited that residents spread across these three counties will soon have access to these critical services. Programs like RDOF that specifically focus on rural America are critical in our fight to establish affordable, reliable broadband in our state.”
“TecInfo Communications is proud to have won the opportunity to build and operate a fiber network through portions of Sunflower, Bolivar and Washington Counties,” President Hayman said. “From the outset, we felt that the RDOF Auction lined up with what our mission has been from the beginning of our operations. That is to provide stable, dependable internet connectivity, to our areas of service, at affordable prices. This Auction was specifically designed to target rural parts of America in order to foster education and business growth, create remote employment opportunities and move, in our case, the Mississippi Delta region a step closer to truly closing the digital divide. We expect to see business, health care and agricultural technology, along with remote education opportunities for children and adults to thrive.”
This funding will enable TecInfo to build approximately 650 miles of fiber, primarily underground, providing access to internet technologies for businesses and residents. The project will be funded over a 10-year period, with construction expected to be completed within six years. Service offerings will include several tiers of internet service up to 1 gigabits, phone and Clear Channel TV service. All of these services are available to our current fiber and wireless customers today. Lifeline service, which provides lower cost phone and internet service for qualified participants, will also be available within select areas.
Service rates, maps of the construction area, construction and service updates along with sign up instructions will be made available at www.tecinfo.net.
Overall, Mississippi had a total of 24 winning bidders of RDOF funds who will potentially receive a collective total of $495,725,799.60. Mississippi received the second highest amount of funds in the country, following California. More information on the RDOF Phase I auction is available at https://www.fcc.gov/auction/904, including complete auction results and a map of winning bids.