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Mississippi CARES Act Broadband Deployment.

Mississippi electric cooperatives leverage Osmose expertise to rapidly deploy a broadband plan for rural communities.

The Situation

The COVID-19 pandemic made the critical importance of internet access painfully clear to both rural Mississippians and the electric cooperatives that serve them. As in many other states, people in rural areas that did not have high-speed broadband services were isolated from family and friends, could not participate in telehealth appointments with their doctors, attend remote learning classes or work from home.

It was the pandemic’s exposure of the disparity between rural and urban communities that allowed Mississippi lawmakers to earmark $75 million of federal COVID-19 relief money to expand broadband in rural areas. Following 2019 legislation that permitted Mississippi electric cooperatives to diversify their services, several cooperatives applied for and were awarded funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to deploy high-speed internet.

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case study miss cares