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HUNTINGDON (September 26) — High-speed internet is proposed for the rural areas of McLemoresville in the west end of Carroll County and the rural area of Buena Vista in the east end of the …
HUNTINGDON (September 26) — High-speed internet is proposed for the rural areas of McLemoresville in the west end of Carroll County and the rural area of Buena Vista in the east end of the county.
Brent Fisher and Tim Loecher of TEC, a Mississippi-based company with voice and other services in Gibson County, Trezevant, Atwood and the town of Henry, has identified two areas that are determined to be “underserved” by a national map showing available internet.
The company received the endorsement of the board of directors of Carroll County in TEC's efforts to secure a state infrastructure grant to construct fiber optics lines within the two rural areas. If successful, the company will lease existing CCED fiber as a bridge between the two areas of service. The utility company has excess capacity in its fiber cables.
Danny Brawner, manager of CCED said TEC will lease the department’s fiber with add more revenue through “pole rental” for any new fiber lines TDS suspends on CCED’s poles. This is a TEC project and requires no funding from any local utility or government entity.
Fisher said TEC will know by mid-December the fate of the grant application. If approved, the company has two years to complete the project. The grant will provide 50 percent of the $2 million project.
Fisher said TEC is also working with Benton County Electric in hopes of serving the rural areas of that county.
TEC has expansion plans in two additional phases in Carroll County. Phase 2 is south of Huntingdon along Highway 70 and Phase 3 is north of Huntingdon towards McKenzie. Overall, the entire project, assuming financial assistance through grants, is two to five years. In April 2020, federal Reconnect America grant funds will become available. Those grants are 90 percent and would pay the majority of the Phase 2 project.
Fisher said letters of support from prospective customers are crucial in securing grant funding. He encouraged residents in the McLemoresville and Buena Vista areas to write a letter of support.
He said the 100 Megabit per second speed is proposed to be $40 monthly and 1 gigabit $80.
The company will provide telephone service, but no video programming services. Customers can obtain streaming video services through many providers.