Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Now They Tell Us.....

A student reporter, yes, a student reporter, did something the so-called media in Jackson couldn't be bothered to do: report how much it might actually cost to roll out high-speed internet service to rural areas in Mississippi. Nicole Rigsby reported in The Reflector (MSU):

According to those interviewed for this story, big companies like C-Spire and AT&T do not want to go out in the rural parts of the state to provide internet because there are not enough customers in rural communities. Providing internet in those areas would cost too much to install, considering the low profits they would receive. Also, those companies would have to charge higher rates, which would result in homeowners refusing to buy an internet package.

Randy Loper, head of the Mississippi State University Extension Center for Technology Outreach, said there is a large part of the residential population with no internet access.

“There is a tremendous shortage of broadband availability in the State of Mississippi,” Loper said.

Loper described no-internet areas as “broadband deserts.” These areas put Mississippi in a rank of 49 out of 50 states with those that have residential access to internet, Montana being 50th....

True enough.  However, take a look at what the cost will be for one area.

Even though this is a wonderful opportunity to those in rural areas, it is still an idea. John Turner, the manager of Public Relations and Marketing for 4-County Electric Co-op, said getting internet cables to their customers will take a huge amount of time and money.

Turner says it will cost around $120 million to fully deploy 6,000 miles of fiber optic cables across all or parts of Clay, Noxubee, Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Webster and Monroe counties. 4-County was not pushing this bill for this reason.

“Maybe we will get into the business or maybe we won’t,” Turner stated. “We have to figure out how to not go ‘belly-up’ trying to install this. We may not be the solution, but we want to be part of the solution.”
Turner says if they do decide to provide internet, it could take anywhere between five to seven years. 4-County wants to provide internet because of the need of this recently-discovered resource....Rest of article.

$120 million? That's quite a few khabukis.  Sure hope the co-ops can pay back those loans they are going to use to build their networks. 

It would have been nice if some of the so-called professional reporters (right, Bobby?) had bothered to get some useful information as this student reporter did.  Nice job, Ms. Rigsby, nice job. 


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'll say again, it was all about pole attachment fees and lining the pockets of the little hermit kingdom rube electric coops. They have to be able to buy political power, and pay for golf junkets and pheasant hunts.

Anonymous said...

No rural electric company will be providing internet. It would require effort.

They will go with the highest bidder, likely companies like CSpire and AT&T....companies who keep telling us how costly it will be to supply internet to the rural areas.

Of course, now that they have access to R.O.W. and just have to string wires, that cost should be negligible. Get ready for some government sanctioned price gouging.

And yes, the rural coops will be having some nice annual bashes.

Anonymous said...

This legislature continues to pass bills that increase the weight limit of county bridges because the lobbyists tell them the bills do not increase the weight limit of bridges.

So, how the heck do you expect them to understand something like this? Its just takes a steak dinner and all of a sudden, they are experts.

Anonymous said...

$20,000 per mile installed is on the high end, but it is pricey. This US DOT site provides historical costs for projects around the country.


Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the original ROW easement cease being an easement for other than originally intended purposes? that is if and a big if these easements are even recorded/of record...poor landowner....

Anonymous said...

I'm not happy with the price of my internet/cable tv bill $ 190.00 a month after cable box charges in each room, tier 2 tv , Taxes, FCC charges etc. etc.
At that price no good content on tv. Internet OK. Are you happy paying more for Comcast than your electric/Gas combined bill??? Didn't think so.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

We don't need high speed internet in cities with populations less than 10,000. A consolation prize might be free banjo strings or Jerry Clower 45's on demand.

P.S. How much will it cost Mississippi for a Tate Reeves Governorship? Far less than high-speed internet even in the Sand Hill area or Avalon, MS area.

Anonymous said...

How about a rural broadband internet solution that *IS NOT* based on hanging new fiber optic cabling on every power pole and into every EPA customer's residence/business?

I guess I could resurrect my earlier voluminous comments to KF's earlier posts on this topic, but I'll just leave it at the question above...

Anonymous said...

10:49AM - and their unnamed school of journalism!

Anonymous said...

Hows about reusing the railroad telegraph wires and poles for the high speed internet? I bet the railroads don't use them much anymore.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why KF is acting dumbfounded by the estimated costs. Nearly every post on the original article mentioned how the bill was meaningless as there was no feasible way for the co-ops to fund this. Just another example of politicians patting themselves on the back for trying even though we all know they are crooked and working only for their own bank accounts.

Louis LeFleur said...

2:19 got me wondering, so I found this on a railroad discussion forum.

Actually, most railroad "telephone and telegraph" lines are already gone, or are barely standing and not being maintained. Those pole lines that you see still standing, for the most part, are signal circuits for block signals, and many of these have been replaced by the same newer technology also, like microwave and fiber optics, and to a lesser extent, buried underground. You will often see a single drop going to a signal house or crossing signals or rock slide fence, high water indicator, etc. to power it, often from commercial power if there is a meter next to the facility

Anonymous said...

Interesting how you let the leg humpers make irrelevant comments toward that other school but decline to approve comments poking fun at cow college.

Anonymous said...

The solution to the lack of rural high speed Internet access isn't more government meddling. Poor people should understand that they don't have a right to something the they can't afford. Either pay the provider to install the required equipment or move to an area that features the amenity you want.

I paid $20,000 to have a bonded T1 run to my rural estate back in 2002 and it is slower than the DSL currently is in the city. For me it was worth it as an investment.

Stop wasting your money on cheap Walmart trinkets and you won't be so poor.

Kingfish said...

dumbfounded? Really?

Anonymous said...

I don't call this government meddling. I call it getting government out of the way. There should have been internets decades ago in rural Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

As for as the poor reporters, they are too busy holding multiple jobs to research anything like this. Maybe one of the TV stations could have done it. But even some of them have to have a part-time job.

Anonymous said...

These rural co-ops are very profitable and most of them have many tens of millions or more in cash profits sitting in bank accounts or invested. They already have the easements, poles, and customers. It would not be that expensive to add internet service. If they can sell electricity at a profit they can definitely sell internet as well.

Anonymous said...

@5:27 PM

You sound like you work in local media. You aren't the first I've heard mention that the market for talking heads who repeat the narrative is so saturated that the salaries are depressed and many work of them multiple jobs.

They should learn to code.

Rod Knox said...

Whatever happened to R.C.D.C. after the federal government funded running electricity and phones out to the farm houses? Mississippi's poor farmers didn't pay for the poles and wire strung down the roads. Would anyone be living out in rural counties these days if not for the money spent 60+ years ago?

Mississippi has a long history of squeezing those Godless liberal states for handouts then insulting them at every opportunity. If the governor and his buddies wanted broadband out on county roads they would find a federal program to fund it.

Anonymous said...

3:48; you should read Luke 16:19-38 about Lazarus and the rich man.

Anonymous said...

8:51 you are wrong as hell right now. Have you ever heard of aid-to-construction? These coops do charge like rips for poles wire and hardware past a certain amount of feet of service. If you want power to your rural camp or home off the road, by god they are indeed going to make you pay for aid to construction. After you grant them an easement-

Anonymous said...

3:48, I think the debate about rural broadband exists because most everyone realizes that, in the current economy, high speed internet access is not an "amenity," but a necessity for any kind of growth - like education, roads, reliable communication, etc. When "electric candlelight" became available, there were people who argued the poor dirt farmers could just move to the city if they wanted luxuries like electricity. Luckily, common sense prevailed and we now can travel beyond Jackson without having to carry generators.

There should always be a discussion about costs, but it can't be one sided. Anytime we're figuring out how much it will cost to do something, we must also figure out how much it will cost NOT to do something.

Rod Knox said...

Maybe you can rethink yourself after reading the history of R.C.D.C. 7:23


Anonymous said...

Rod Knox suggested that 7:23 read:


I cannot speak for 7:23, but I read it - what is your point? That 7:23 is wrong or are you just attempting to answer his or her challenge of your prior reply or something else?

What all readers might wish to note if they read the page you suggest is that rural electrification was, in large part, a method of jobs creation that could be somewhat justified by the work accomplished. From a practical standpoint, it put federal money into the hands of "the local boys" who could take a nice piece of change right off the top as well have a longterm stream of funds from which to take a cut. Anyone who thinks Sam Rayburn and FDR were champions of or for rural Americans - even poor white ones - is an idiot.

The idea that any residence or ALL businesses need "high speed Internet," much less the idea that ANYONE is somehow ENTITLED to it, are both false and preposterous, just as is the idea that everyone should have a cell phone and if they cannot afford it, the federal government will subsidize one.

Yes, the power co-ops should be permitted to offer whatever speed of online access they wish, just as AT&T, C-Spire and any other for-profit business should be allowed to do. Any entity who wishes to do so should have to get easements (or negotiate fees to use existing infrastructure), pay for equipment, etc., etc., etc., without any subsidy from the Fed. AT&T, C-Spire, and other for-profit entities determined that there is no money to be made, not by a long shot, in providing "high speed internet" to a handful of folks a long distance from any existing network, just as Domino's, Pizza Hut, Papa John's, etc. have determined that establishing locations in rural areas will not be profitable and every retailer has determined that, for example, a Target in a rural county with a total population of 7500-15000 and a 20% unemployment rate will not be profitable.

The whole "rural high speed Interent" argument is a joke and anyone who argues in favor of any form of subsidy is either an idiot or a direct financial beneficiary. Period.

Anonymous said...

I live in the city limits of Canton and have terrible WiFi. My cellphone service is better. Why not help all people in Miss not just rural.

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