Electric Cooperatives, such as ACE, can now offer broadband
By Josh Mitchell/Corinth Today
More rural areas may receive access to high-speed Internet now that Gov. Phil Bryant has signed a bill to allow electric cooperatives, such as the Alcorn County Electric (ACE) Power Association, to offer the service.
After signing the bill Wednesday morning, Gov. Bryant tweeted, “Many rural Mississippians will benefit from this law,” which is called the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act.
ACE officials were not immediately available for comment Wednesday after the governor signed the bill.
It is unclear how long it will take electric cooperatives to start offering broadband services in rural areas that currently lack high-speed Internet.
Electric cooperatives must conduct economic feasibility studies before high-speed Internet services can be offered.
Electric cooperatives are not required to implement broadband systems. People also do not have to buy broadband services in order to keep getting electric services.
Cooperatives cannot threaten to cut off electricity due to a customer’s failure to pay for broadband services.
The bill signed by the governor is House Bill 366.