For the Press

EMEPA working to bring high speed internet to rural areas

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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