Local Opinion

Published on October 17th, 2018 | by Jay Hughes


“Can you hear me now? Rural High-Speed Internet through Mississippi Electrical Cooperatives” by Jay Hughes

Are you reading this on-line, at home?   The answer to that question depends on where you live in Mississippi. 

About 39 out of every 100 people in our state don’t have access to high-speed internet. That could change, however, if we tell our state representatives and senators that expanded access to high speed internet should be one of their top priorities.

I’ve done the research, and this is a problem that we can solve together.

For example, we could use the same model that brought electricity to rural parts of Mississippi in the 1940’s.  Under this plan, the 25 member-owned electric cooperatives in could provide high-speed internet to their customers.

Unfortunately, an old law from 1942 prevents them from offering this service.  With one simple change to that law, and not a single penny of taxpayer dollars, our co-ops could provide reliable internet service to homes and small businesses. 

Imagine what that would do for small businesses, students, and families.  Most other states are already doing this, including every single one that borders Mississippi.

Thanks to the hard work of Brandon Presley and the rest of the Public Service Commission, a bill will be introduced in the Mississippi legislature this January.

Whether it survives will depend on you letting your state senator and representative know how you feel about internet access for everyone.

Jay Hughes
State Representative, District 12-Lafayette
Candidate for Lt. Governor, 2019

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About the Author

Jay Hughes was born August 28, 1963 in Houston, Texas, is a U.S. Army Veteran, and is married to the former Cristin Moroney. Jay is former Ward 1 Alderman of Oxford, Mississippi and currently is District 12 Representative in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

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