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Lafayette County Supervisors sign resolution approving EPA Internet options

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution just before the New Year that supports electric power associations providing Internet services.

The resolution is to show support of the recent push by the Public Service Commission, which has been pining for local government support in order to change an old law that prevents EPAs from providing Internet services. The resolution passed unanimously.

In the resolution, the Supervisors resolve to fully support all EPA efforts to provide customers with high-speed internet, and urges the Mississippi Legislature to pass more legislature to allow EPAs to provide that high-speed internet.

“High-speed Internet service has become a necessary component to participating in the modern economy, healthcare and education,” part of the resolution reads. “But this service is unavailable or of an inadequate quality for many residents.”

The current law bans EPAs and electrical cooperatives from providing Internet services.

The resolution also says that legislation will be introduced in 2019, which will change the law and allow EPAs, such as North East Mississippi Electric Power Association, would be allowed to provide Internet to customers in rural Mississippi.

Part of the $1.3 trillion spending bill, signed into law on March 23, included some electric cooperative priorities.

That bill authorized the allocation of $600 million for the Agriculture Department to make loans and grants for rural broadband, however Mississippi cannot receive those funds until it changes its current EPA laws.