TEC, a leading rural broadband internet provider throughout the southeast, is pleased to announce The Central Mississippi Rural Community Fiber ReConnect Project. This historic venture will provide unprecedented access to many parts of Mississippi that are unserved or underserved. The ReConnect Project incorporates and brings this crucial access to areas of Jasper, Smith, Newton, Lauderdale, and Jones counties. Because the ReConnect Project covers large swaths of central Mississippi, TEC will be installing approximately 200 miles of fiber that will bring dependable, high-speed internet to over 1,500 homes and businesses. To help meet this important goal TEC has been awarded $4,692,817 in grant funding and is providing a cash match of $2,603,098 for a total investment of $7,295,915 that will allow the family-owned company to introduce high speed fiber internet to historically unserved and underserved areas in Mississippi. Construction is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2021. With TEC’s fast fiber internet, people in the Stringer, Moss, Hickory, Chunky, and Taylorsville communities will finally be able to enjoy the benefits of a modern standard of connectivity – with internet speeds reaching up to a full gigabit. Fiber is the gold standard of internet services, and TEC is proud to bring these communities into the future with the ReConnect Project.
“We are thrilled to receive this award from the USDA ReConnect Program. This grant assists TEC in our commitment to improving the communities we serve and surrounding areas, bringing increased fiber internet options to rural Mississippians. We are excited to begin construction and get more people connected. We also are thankful for this opportunity to serve neighboring areas and decrease the digital divide in our state,” says Joey Garner, Executive Vice President of TEC.
Additionally, Garner adds, “About one-half of the homes and businesses impacted by this grant are our Southern Pine neighbors. We look forward to serving these members as we collaborate with Southern Pine today and in the future.”
TEC has already received over 500 requests for service in these areas; the demand and need for better connectivity among community members are evident. TEC is committed to serving these requests efficiently and effectively, bringing these customers cutting-edge connectivity in the digital era. Fiber optic broadband is a future-proof technology that increases property values and improves the quality of life, replacing older copper lines that, while effective and functional, can never provide the speed and reliability of fiber optic cable. Fiber internet means better access to health care through telemedicine, more educational opportunities through distance learning, increased opportunities for economic development, and of course, a better video streaming and gaming experience, making it the clear choice for today’s hurdles, as well as a promising investment in the future of internet access.
In addition to fiber internet services, TEC also will provide local and long-distance voice options, security, and smart home solutions as part of their comprehensive services for the rural patron.
“This is exciting news for TEC customers in Jasper, Smith, Jones, Newton and Lauderdale Counties, as well as for TEC. Service expansion projects like this are vital to our future growth as a state in business, education, healthcare, economic development and more. I’d like to thank TEC for their hard work and partnership with the PSC and USDA to make projects like this happen for Mississippi,” states Dane Maxwell, Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Southern District.
TEC has been providing telecom services to rural America for nearly a century and was the first to bring internet options to its rural markets more than 20 years ago. TEC also continues to provide economic stability to local service areas, employing over 200 people across Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Currently, TEC has invested in and maintains approximately 3,700 miles of copper and over 1,300 miles of fiber in its rural markets, providing access to over 20,000 homes, families, and businesses. The company is committed to improving the quality of life in rural America by connecting people with fast fiber internet.