Broadband internet access is an important part of modern life, whether it’s to stay in touch with loved ones or to look for a job. Yet 6 out of 10 rural Mississippians do not have broadband access.
AARP Mississippi is working to fix that, pushing successfully for a new law that allows the state’s electric power associations to provide broadband. A 1942 law had restricted such companies to providing only electricity.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced $600 million in grants and loans to expand rural broadband access nationwide, and electric companies are applying for those grants.
Under the new law, electric power associations cannot cut off electricity when a consumer fails to pay an internet bill.
Mississippi ranks 49th among the states in broadband access.
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