LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Friday was a historic day for Dixie Electric as the company was awarded funding to continue its high-speed internet expansion to rural areas.
Chairman Dane Maxwell of the Mississippi Public Service Commission signed and approved $21.7 Million for the DE FastLink Project.
“This is our time in history to bring forth the technology, high-speed internet that everybody uses today,” Maxwell said.
The DE FastLink Project is Dixie Electric’s fiber internet service launched after the pandemic showed the lack of high-speed internet in rural areas.
“I understand that there’s a lot of negative with COVID, but this is one positive when it really highlighted the need to the members of the legislature and the members of congress,” Maxwell said.
Randy Smith, general manager for Dixie Electric, shares the opportunities he hopes to see from the expansion of broadband internet.
“What we see are the opportunities for people to work from home, learning capabilities, distance learning capabilities are a part of it,” Smith said. “Telemedicine for folks who necessarily need to or want to go, doctors, offices, and then economic development.”
Smith says there are about 300 miles of fiber installed between the Ovett, Runnelstown and Richton areas.
Dixie Electric’s next area to lay fiber is south toward New Augusta and then back to Petal.