Months after receiving grant money through the Mississippi state Legislature, Delta Electric’s project to bring broadband internet to its customers in Carroll County has been progressing well, says David O’Bryan, the cooperative’s general manager.

Delta Electric, through its wholly owned subsidiary, DE LightSpeed, started providing broadband internet service to Carroll County customers the week before Thanksgiving, O’Bryan said.

By the end of March, O’Bryan said, the project should be complete — meaning that high-speed internet will be offered to everyone in the project’s coverage area.

“There’s a tremendous need, given COVID-19, for learning at home along with telemedicine and telework. This project is designed to help bring that high-speed internet access to those in needed areas,” he said.

Customers will have a minimum speed of 100 megabits per second (mbps) and a maximum speed of 1,000 mbps.

O’Bryan would not disclose how many households now have broadband internet, saying those numbers are proprietary. However, he did say that the project was designed to provide broadband internet to more than 1,935 customers in unserved and underserved locations.

Over the summer, Delta Electric received $4.9 million in grant money through the Mississippi Electric Cooperatives Broadband COVID-19 program to expand broadband internet service to underserved portions of Delta Electric’s 13-county area of utility coverage. The targeted area for Delta Electric’s project includes a large portion of Carroll County and a sliver of Grenada County.

The technology used to deliver Delta Electric customers broadband, or high-speed internet, is fiber, often considered the gold standard because of its high capacity and high speeds, O’Bryan said.

According to BroadbandNow, an internet provider consumer advocacy group, only 36.7% of Carroll County has broadband internet.

Fiber internet also means there’s a “low latency system,” meaning there’ll be little buffering, O’Bryan said.

In addition to fiber internet, he said, “our customers will have access to a free mobile app to manage the Wi-Fi within their home. This will allow them to register their devices, do speed tests and establish parental controls within the home.”

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com

(3) comments

Old Buffalo

This is great news for people out in the country! The internet for these folks is literally instant with no buffering. Meanwhile back in Greenwood we are stuck with Suddenlink, a worthless excuse for a company. I pay for 100 mbps internet. I ran a speed test on my network, which includes new wiring and an expensive name brand router, and i'm getting a "blazing" 21 mbps. We need everyone in town to go to C-Cspire's website and sign up for their "Fiber to the home" internet and tv service. If everyone signs up now they will be more likely to speed up installation in this area.

Barney Fife

What about the rest of the area that Delta serves? The entire area is severely lacking in many things, and is many years behind the rest of the country, even in some of the other rural areas. By having access to the internet at a decent speed and reliability, that could be one of just many things needed to bring the Delta closer to being less poverty-stricken. Access to information is one key to success. Look back at history - printed books and papers, radio, TV, etc. all were tremendous aids in the education of people. The Internet far surpasses all of that. While I agree that all forms of information I just listed are up to the user in how to implement them, they can be of great benefit to all of humanity if used correctly. Most people are not going to travel to use the Internet, therefore it needs to be in the homes of the users. Delta EPA is in a perfect position to provide internet access. Other access methods have been tried and are severely lacking. Dial-up, satellite, wireless, etc. are all too slow and unreliable. DSL is better, but cable and fiber-optic are currently the best ones for rural use. It is up to Delta EPA to provide the access, and it is long overdue to provide this to such a poverty-stricken area. If the Delta is ever going to begin to climb out of its current quagmire, fast, reliable internet access is just one of many things that are required to do so!

Veritas

Wow, I pay $100/month for 75 mb speed from Suddenlink (my ONLY choice in N.E. Greenwood) which is less than the minimum speed offered in rural Carrol county! Our city leaders need to get aggressive in getting fiber in our community! How are we going to sustain growth and recruit new businesses and residents to our city with such poor broadband infrastructure? All I ever hear is crickets coming from our city and county leaders regarding this issue. Why?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.