Pearl River Valley receives $25 million to build internet service

Pearl River Valley receives $25 million to build internet service
Pearl River Valley Electric awarded $25 million-plus to start fiber internet for its members. (Source: wdam)

From Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association Communications

COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) _ A subsidiary of Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association was awarded more than $25 million to bring broadband service to south central Mississippi homes and businesses.

PearlComm received the funding through the Federal Communications Commission Rural Digital Opportunity Fund’s Phase I auction to deploy gigabit-speed-capable broadband service.

The fiber-to-the-home network would serve the entire 51,000-plus homes and businesses in the Pearl River Valley EPA’s 12-county service territory.

PearlComm’s five-year deployment plan will encompass 4,700 miles of fiber to build a network capable of providing access to the type of needed service recently highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic: remote learning; working from home; staying connected with loved one; and virtual doctor visits.

“Our mission to make lives and communities better through affordable, reliable and quality services carries through to our fiber broadband service,” PRV general manager Matthew Ware said. “We are extremely pleased by our success in the RDOF auction and look forward to leveraging that funding to benefit all our members.”

Pearl River Valley Electric was a member of the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium, a bidding entity of more than 90 cooperatives coordinated and led by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon to secure RDOF funds.

Overall, the Conexon consortium was awarded $1.1 billion, enabling electric cooperatives across 22 states to deliver world-class fiber-to-the-house service to more than two million rural Americans.

“The Mississippi electric power association broadband story is an extremely positive one,” Conexon partner Randy Klindt said. “Through the efforts of EPAs such as Pearl River Valley, lives and communities are being changed for the better.

“We are proud that Matthew and his team chose to participate in our consortium and congratulate them on their auction success.”

Pearl River Valley Electric is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative that distributes electricity to more than 51,000 members in 12-counties in central and south Mississippi.

PRV is headquartered in Columbia and has offices in Hattiesburg, Purvis and Wiggins.

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