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EMEPA working to bring high speed internet to rural areas

By June 12, 2020June 16th, 2020No Comments

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) – The Board of Directors of East Mississippi Electric Power Association voted Friday to approve a $10.5 million fiber-to-the-home broadband internet pilot project.

EMEPA says the project is in conjunction with the CARES Act. Preliminary work on the project could begin as early as July. EMEPA plans to build more than 340 miles of fiber in one year. They expect to start construction in October.

EMEPA will continue seeking grant funds for additional service. The grants are from the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Results of the grant search process are expected to be announced in October.

EMEPA said Friday that grants are crucial because the cost of the project can range from $22,500 to $35,000 per mile of fiber they install. Projected costs are over $100 million.

The projected timeline is four to six years to bring fiber to every area of EMEPA’s service area.

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Author Conexon

Conexon works with Rural Electric Cooperatives to bring fiber to the home in rural communities. The company is composed of professionals who have worked in electric cooperatives and the telecommunications industry, and offer decades of individual experience in business planning, building networks, marketing and selling telecommunications. Conexon offers its electric cooperative clients end-to-end broadband deployment and operations support, from a project’s conception all the way through to its long-term sustainability. It works with clients to analyze economic feasibility, secure financing, design the network, manage construction, provide operational support, optimize business performance and determine optimal partnerships. To date, Conexon has assisted nearly 200 electric cooperatives, nearly 50 of which are deploying fiber networks, with more than 150,000 connected fiber-to-the-home subscribers across the U.S. The company has secured more than a quarter of a billion dollars in federal and state grants for its clients.

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