(Hernando, MS) Lori Porter has tried for years to get better internet coverage at her home, but it seems the best she can do, is dial-up, ”Everyone has high speed internet around me, one mile in each direction, but we can’t get it. No one can tell us when we can get it”.
A survey undertaken by DeSoto County government shows 40 percent of county residents can’t get high-speed internet service.
”We see this as important as roads in our county. This is infrastructure” said Supervisor Lee Caldwell who believes internet coverage in DeSoto, resembles Swiss cheese with huge holes in coverage no matter what direction you travel.
She wants to light a fire under companies to extend service to anxious customers.
DeSoto’s internet situation looks very much like what Tunica Casinos faced when the utility companies didn’t want to run electricity to the river.
Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley understands that, and says the federal government needs to treat internet it did with bringing electricity to rural areas more than a generation ago.
He says current FCC maps show Mississippi’s internet coverage as being incredibly good, but in fact, he says it’s incredibly bad, ”If we don’t get Mississippi correctly reported on the FCC map, we’re gonna lose millions of dollars in funding for broadband service in our State.”
He promises to get the correct information to the FCC in a couple of weeks, and hopes to see action from the Commission by spring.
That’s good news to people who still wait for internet service, with no idea when or if they’ll ever get it.
”I spent five hours on the phone a couple of years ago and still got no answers,” Porter explained.