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Another Mississippi electric co-op eyes high-speed internet

(AP) — Another Mississippi electric cooperative wants to get into the internet business.

North East Mississippi Electric Power Association tells The Oxford Eagle that it will ask its members during a December annual meeting to authorize a broadband internet subsidiary.

The cooperative says it aims to offer fiber optic service to all of its 27,000 customers in Lafayette, Marshall, Union, Pontotoc and Benton counties. Directors voted to proceed last week.

Manager of Engineering and Operations Randall Abel says two studies show the service will be financially viable, with members expressing strong interest.

North East is at least the fifth of Mississippi’s 25 cooperatives to announce internet plans.

The moves come months after state legislators allowed rural electric providers to enter the business.

Lawmakers cited complaints that current providers weren’t serving rural areas.