Supervisors take action on broadband expansion

Published 3:00 pm Monday, July 3, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Broadband expansion could be making progress in Lincoln County as supervisors took action Monday. Jeremy Smith with Southwest Electric spoke about a project they could be working on with Franklin Telephone to the Board of Supervisors during a regularly scheduled board meeting. 

Smith asked the supervisors to write a letter of support for the project as Southwest Electric and Franklin Telephone plan to work together to provide internet access to customers in Lincoln County. Supervisors agreed to write the letter of support for the grant. 

“We need the grant to implement the project. We believe it would benefit the citizens of Lincoln County,” Smith said. “It would provide 1 gig upload and 1 gig download speeds. This is just a letter of support for the grant. No matching funds are needed.”

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The Mississippi State Extension Office in Lincoln County asks residents to take an internet speed test to help the Office of Broadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi to map internet service in Mississippi. The test can be done online or over the phone if you don’t have service at 601-439-2535. 

According to Lincoln County’s broadband audit completed in October 2022, 11,531 demand points or 57 percent of the county is unserved, 3,727 demand points or 18.75 percent are underserved and 4,873 demand points or 24.2 percent are served. 

Lincoln County Administrator Daniel Calcote informed the board of supervisors about the Mississippi Broadband Association which is a non-profit working alongside BEAM to bring more internet service to the state. Quinn Jordan, former Lincoln County Civic Center director, is the executive director of the Mississippi Broadband Association. No action was taken in the meeting.