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TVEPA receives $16 million ReConnect Grant for fiber installation

First in Mississippi to receive federal funding to expand fiber broadband technology

The Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association and its subsidiary, TVIfiber, are the first internet provider in the state of Mississippi to receive federal grant funding to install fiber optic broadband in rural, underserved areas.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded TVEPA with a $16 million ReConnect Grant to expand fiber deployment. The grant will be combined with TVEPA’s $44 million investment to deploy fiber throughout the TVEPA service area.

On a video announcement Tuesday, TVEPA and TVIfiber Chief Executive Officer, Brad Robison said “This is a historic day for our cooperative and our member owners, but is also a great day for the state of Mississippi and we are all very thankful for this opportunity. A TVEPA member at the end of a gravel road will soon have access to the same quality internet service of those in major metropolitan cities.”

Fiber optic internet is hailed as a future-proof technology. It is the fastest, most reliable internet technology available. A fiber optic broadband connection means better access to health care through telehealth options. It also opens up a world of online education opportunities, smoother video streaming, and a better gaming experience.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves believes broadband in rural Mississippi needs to be addressed and is essential to modern living.

“We understand the need to improve the broadband infrastructure in our home state,” Reeves said. “This is an issue that has come to the forefront with respect to education in the last several months, but the fact of the matter is this is an issue that touches economy, healthcare, agriculture, education and everything in between.”