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AT&T rolls out rural internet technology

Options for high-speed internet have been limited in rural areas of Lafayette County and across the county. Seeing this need, AT&T is providing wireless internet using cell phone towers in five areas of the county.

AT&T’s Fixed Wireless Internet service delivers a home internet connection with download speeds of at least 10Mbps.

“Customers can stream TV shows or movies, do online classes, or just browse the web,” said

Mayo Flynt, state president of AT&T Mississippi Monday.

Flynt and other AT&T representatives announced their new rural internet program Monday at the AT&T cell phone tower off Highway 9 in the area known as Gault, during a press conference. Senator Gray Tollison and Lafayette County Supervisor Kevin Frye attended the event.

“In our new Comprehensive Plan that we will be voting on next week, one of our goals is to help better internet access to our more rural residents and this program helps to accomplish that,” Frye said Monday.

The connection comes from a wireless tower to a fixed antenna on customers’ homes or businesses located in about a 5-mile radius, depending on topography.

In addition to the cell phone tower off Highway 9, Fixed Wireless Internet has been placed on five cell phone towers in Lafayette County, including Paris, Abbeville, Water Ford and Lafayette Spring. Three additional towers are located in the northeastern Yalobusha County.

AT&T has extended Fixed Wireless Internet as part of its FCC Connect America Fund commitment. As a part of this commitment across 18 states, AT&T plans to reach over 400,000 locations by the end of 2017, and over 1.1 million locations by 2020.

AT&T plans to reach over 133,000 rural homes and businesses with the new technology across Mississippi by 2020.

“We have committed to reaching at least 40 percent of those locations by the end of this year,” Flynt said. “We’re really excited about this program.”

The basic cost for the internet varies from $50 to $70, depending on whether a customer bundles their service will their cell phone service or Direct TV and whether they pay month-by-month or sign a yearly contract.

Flynt said eligible customers in Lafayette County should have, or soon will be, receiving a card in the mail offering the service.

To find out if your home is eligible for the new wireless internet, call 877-990-0041.