Mound Bayou Telephone & Communications receives grant
for Fiber Broadband Expansion in Bolivar County
Friday, August 11, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MOUND BAYOU, MS – Over 30 miles of new broadband to homes, farms and businesses is on its way to Bolivar County thanks to a grant through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Broadband ReConnect 4 Program. Mound Bayou Telephone & Communications (MBTC) is pleased to announce the receipt of a broadband infrastructure grant providing for a $3.52 million project deploying fiber optic technologies in Winstonville and Bolivar County in rural northwest Mississippi.
Upon completion, the project will provide fiber-based facilities with multi-gigabit speeds, spanning over 30 miles of buried facilities to hundreds of rural customers. To qualify for this grant, MBTC had to meet certain requirements including extreme rurality of the area, providing for an economically impoverished area, and a commitment to both strong labor standards as well as providing affordable broadband package offerings. The project was previously not feasible without funding assistance.
The ReConnect 4 program has provided over $1 billion in loans and grants to cover fiber optic buildouts across the country, expanding much needed broadband access to millions of unserved Americans. This award represents the first of its kind for MBTC and will provide a major impact to the citizens and economy of Bolivar County.
“We are excited begin construction on this project and get more of our rural citizens connected. This is a much-needed upgrade in internet facilities, and we are proud to bring Mound Bayou and areas of Bolivar County with the level of broadband connectivity that until recently only existed in densely populated cities. The service will not only be available, but it will also be affordable thanks to the FCC’s ACP and Lifeline assistance programs,” said Christa Alexander, CEO.
MBTC, the Minority-Owned provider of telephone and internet services in Mound Bayou and Winstonville in Bolivar County, is no stranger to the industry. MBTC has been serving Mound Bayou and Bolivar County for over 75 years. Its parent, Fail Telecommunications Corp. (FTC), has roots in rural telecommunication dating back to 1923. Currently, FTC has invested in and maintains over 750 miles of fiber in its rural markets. MBTC offers the Lifeline Assistance Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) which offers eligible households discounts on their telephone and internet services, as well as credits toward the purchase of eligible devices.
MBTC would like to thank the community for their support of this project as well as Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde Smith; Congressman Trent Kelly; Governor Tate Reeves; and Director Sally Doty and the BEAM office.