Mississippi’s Public Service Commission is redesignating the Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) status of 28 companies to receive approximately $138,973,318 in federal funds in 2024.
The funding will serve to continue the expansion of voice and broadband internet services to unserved and underserved areas in Mississippi. An ETC requires annual certification that the telecom company has used the previous year’s funding as intended.
“Following today’s approval and in addition to ETC recertifications approved over the last three weeks, nearly $155 million could flow to the state of Mississippi to expand affordable and reliable voice and broadband services in rural parts of the state,” Central District Commissioner Bailey said.
“For too long, residents in rural Mississippi have been patiently waiting for high-speed internet services. We must continue to prioritize those areas as these funds are critical to advancing health, education, and economic and workforce development in rural areas of Mississippi.”
The following carriers have been redesignated as ETCs:
- BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Mississippi
- Cellular South Licenses, LLC
- TEC of Jackson, Inc.
- Telepak Networks, Inc.
- New Cingular Wireless/AT&T Mobility
- Viasat Carrier Services, Inc.
- Aristotle Unified Communications
- East Mississippi Connect, LLC
- Delta Fiber, LLC
- Conexon Connect, LLC
- Windstream Communications, LLC
- 4-County Fiber, LLC
The following rural carriers have been redesignated as ETCs:
- Bay Springs Telephone Company
- Bruce Telephone Company
- Calhoun City Telephone Company
- CenturyTel of North Mississippi, Inc.
- Decatur Telephone Company
- Franklin Telephone Company
- Frontier Communications of Mississippi, Inc.
- Fulton Telephone Company
- Georgetown Telephone Company
- Mound Bayou Telephone Company
- Myrtle Telephone Company
- Noxapater Telephone Company
- Sledge Telephone Company/Lakeside Telephone Company
- Smithville Telephone Company
- Southeast Telephone Company
- Windstream Mississippi, Inc.
In addition, Bailey previously signed orders extending the ETC status of two other providers, Belzoni Cable, LLC and TecInfo Communications, both located in Mississippi’s central district, to continue receiving funding from the Federal Communication Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).
Belzoni Cable, LLC will receive $6,697,849 in RDOF funding, which will be evenly disbursed over 10 years, to provide broadband services to 1,482 homes and businesses in Humphreys and Sharkey counties.
TecInfo Communications will receive $11,091,762 over 10 years to serve 2,713 homes and businesses in Bolivar, Sunflower, and Washington counties.