Internet service slow in rural areas - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Internet service slow in rural areas

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By Ashley Conroy

HAZLEHURST, MS (WLBT) - As part of a statewide initiative from Governor Haley Barbour and the Mississippi Broadband Task Force, $7 million dollars will go towards evaluating and enhancing broadband technology statewide.

Governor Barbour announced on Dec. 13th the launch of the new "Broadband for Mississippi" website that outlines the availability of broadband across the state.

Hazlehurst resident Tammy Nelson says this service would benefit her and her family. She says their Internet services is through HughesNet and their only other option is dial-up.

"It's really bad, but it's really necessary," Nelson said. "So you're kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place."

She says once they use a certain amount of space, the company then charges a fee.

"This is what your allowed, and you go over that, well I'm sorry, $12 bucks you can have some more, but you go over the next 24 hours, $12 more bucks."

She raises Basset Hounds and says her business requires her to be online for hours a day.

"My husband's a surveyor, so he has to have the internet to do his business. My kids are in college, they have to have the Internet to function in college."

The "Broadband for Mississippi" website will allow users to pinpoint needed information about broadband in their area.

Users can type in their address and a map populates that will help users test their current internet speed.

The governor's office says the site is part of the state's overall effort to improve high-speed internet to all communities including rural areas.

In a statement Barbour said:

"Expanding internet access through the latest and fastest technologies is critical to the state's economic development, education and health care sectors. The site is another way for Mississippians to learn about broadband technology and how it can help their lives."

Nelson says this initiative sounds great, but she'll have to see it first to believe it.

"I'm open for different solutions, if anybody can come up with something, I'm all behind it, I'm ready for it."

Funding for the broadband website is part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds of 2009.

 To access the site go to: www.broadband.ms.gov

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